I have a 10 month old son and if you are at all familiar with children, you end up with a collection of toys, vibrating seats, singing walkers and many other gadgets all requiring batteries. After a few months of buying and replacing batteries, I decided to follow one of my own “green tips” and buy a bunch of rechargeable batteries to help the environment and save some money in the long run. Now all of these toys take different size batteries such as AA’s, AAA’s, D’s and C’s, so when shopping for a battery charger, I knew I needed one that could handle all of the major battery sizes.
During my search I ran across this solar battery charger which fit all of the major sizes, so I decided to try it out and see if it really worked as advertised. I was also searching for good products to sell on the Neutral Existence Eco Store and definitely wanted to test it before recommending it to anyone.
The package arrived in a small box with directions and approximate charging times for each size battery. The product was as advertised, however I had somehow gotten it in my head that it would hold 4 AA batteries at once, and that is not the case. Unfortunately, this charger will only recharge two batteries at a time, but considering that the recharge time for AAA’s and AA’s is under 4 hours, I can recharge 4 in one day. The C and D size batteries take a little longer to recharge due to their size and capacity, so they take 6-8 hours for C’s and 9-12 hours for D’s.
This solar battery charger is well made, very durable and able to keep water out. The hinged top piece is made of a very durable clear plastic with the solar panel actually molded inside of the plastic. The top of the plastic top actually has concentrator cones molded into the plastic which helps to concentrate the suns rays into the photovoltaic cells. It is this ingenuity which allows such a small solar panel to generate enough energy to recharge these batteries in such a short time.
The bottom of the recharger box is made of a durable black plastic and has different gaps and holder to fit all of the major battery sizes (AA, AAA, C and D) and a small switch to choose between the type of battery you are charging. The bottom part of the charger box has a little “kick stand” of sorts which can be folded out from the bottom. This allows you to tilt the box in such a way to get a perfect angle towards the sun for a quicker recharge time. The hinged top also opens to allow you to have even more flexibility when angling the box toward the sun.
The most notable characteristic of this box is the fact that it keeps water out when it is closed. This wasn’t an advertised feature either, this was something I learned first hand after leaving this charger outside one day while it poured down raining. While at work, I was worried all day that the batteries would get wet and begin to rust and degrade. As soon as I got home, I checked the charger to see what type of damage had occurred, and to my disbelief, the box had not let in a single droplet of water. I must stress that this was no ordinary downfall, we are talking 6 inches in one hour and the streets were flooded all over town, so I was very surprised and impressed that this box kept all that water out.
To conclude this review, I was very impressed with this solar battery charger so much so that I decided to carry it in our Eco Store. I know you can get a regular plug in recharger for about the same price, but the flexibility of this solar charger allows it to be used anywhere. How else would you recharge your batteries while camping?
Also, how much does it cost to generate the solar electricity to recharge the batteries? So, in my opinion the combination of rechargeable batteries and a solar charger will save money in more ways than one.