Are mobile solar chargers worth it?

joos-webWe all like the idea of being environmentally responsible and doing our part to ease the strain on the electrical grid while creating a level of resiliency with our emergency power needs. One way to do that, of course is to get a portable solar charger to keep your electronics running in the event of a power outage or natural disaster. But is it really worth the money to buy such a solar charger? The answer is ‘yes” and “no” because to answer this question, we first need to do our research on the different solar chargers to weigh the pros and cons of ownership.

Cnet.com wrote an article a couple years ago asking this very question. In their story, they only analyzed mobile solar phone covers that snap on the back of your cell phone and provide solar energy to charge your phone. Clearly, their article determined these types of chargers were not worth the money because in order to get 20 minutes of talk time, you had to position the phone at a 90 degree angle to the sun, for an hour.

Now compare that for a moment to the JOOS Orange personal solar charger and battery. That same hour in the sun will give you 2 hours of talk time, not 20 minutes like the inefficient snap on covers. These numbers make the JOOS six times more efficient, and, you don’t have to point the JOOS directly into the sun at a 90 degree angle thanks to the JOOS’ proprietary low-light-charging circuitry.

But what about a larger solar charging system like one of the Goal Zero products, for example? While these larger products look appealing, looks can be deceiving. You see, what sets the JOOS apart from its competition is its portability, efficiency, and ease of use. Instead of lugging around a fold-out solar array and a separate battery pack like you would with the Goal Zero products, the JOOS is a solid, one piece design that houses not only a highly efficient monocrystalline solar cell, but also a 20 watt hour battery.

Finding the right fit for you can be a daunting task but to start, ask yourself what you’re looking for. Do you want portability, with ease of use and dependability, or do you want a cumbersome, yet equally efficient fold-out array with separate attachments? Can you get by with a snap on solar case for your phone and get 20 minutes of talk time for each hour holding your phone to the sun, or would you prefer something that gives you 2 hours of talk time for that one hour in the sun?

At Solar Components, we feel the JOOS Orange is in its own category because to date, no one has been able to produce such a portable, efficient, and easy to use solar solution to your everyday charging needs. You can pick one up today for just $149, or buy a Bundle Kit which includes a case and reflector kit for only $175.



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