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How significant are solar powered chargers here?

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    I like using a lot of devices and they will consume a lot of power. Given that I'm now in my own house, I really want to cut down given not wanting to pay a huge electricity bill...

    A device like this for example in theory means I can still maintain usage of devices but not pay a very large bill. Meaning over the long term, I can save up

    But is it really worth it?

    While yes this is England and is not known for bright sunny days, that doesn't mean much. The fact that you can see out in daytime is evidence of light being present. But is this enough?

    Has anyone had any experience with this?

    Ideally, I would like to charge my phone/iPad/etc in a time similar to how long it would take to charge from the mains. Is this possible from a relatively small priced charger (like the one in the link)
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    Any device that will be able to run off that wouldn't be a significant source of power consumption. At maximum charge rate, it would only be able to do one device at a time, and from the cost, it might just be more beneficial paying the bill.

    To save more money though, you can start doing simple things like unplugging devices that aren't being used, and taking things off charge once they are finished charging. Turning down your laptop to the lowest level you feel comfortable with.
    Saying that, the biggest consumer of domestic power is a fridges and freezers. It's constantly on, but you can do stuff like leaving things to defrost in the fridge, and not leaving the door open for a long time.
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    (Original post by ocelotrevs)
    Any device that will be able to run off that wouldn't be a significant source of power consumption. At maximum charge rate, it would only be able to do one device at a time, and from the cost, it might just be more beneficial paying the bill.

    To save more money though, you can start doing simple things like unplugging devices that aren't being used, and taking things off charge once they are finished charging. Turning down your laptop to the lowest level you feel comfortable with.
    Saying that, the biggest consumer of domestic power is a fridges and freezers. It's constantly on, but you can do stuff like leaving things to defrost in the fridge, and not leaving the door open for a long time.
    Really? There was one I saw for about £35, thought I would have eventually made a difference with it assuming it was possible to fully charge a device with it.

    Would of thought anything left on long enough would become a significant cost to maintain even if it were a phone?

    Right now, i already turn off things I don't use, turn lights off etc (though I can't say the same about whether my housemates do the same or not).
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    For devices like that it's unlikely to save that much. The power to charge an iPad or phone is probably similar to using a 60W bulb for 30-60 minutes.

    There are likely to be better ways to save electricity (Start looking at the things that use a lot of power - Usually things that do heating and cooling - Electric cookers, showers, heaters, etc) or things that are on a lot (lights)
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    (Original post by Dmon1Unlimited)
    I like using a lot of devices and they will consume a lot of power. Given that I'm now in my own house, I really want to cut down given not wanting to pay a huge electricity bill...

    A device like this for example in theory means I can still maintain usage of devices but not pay a very large bill. Meaning over the long term, I can save up

    But is it really worth it?

    While yes this is England and is not known for bright sunny days, that doesn't mean much. The fact that you can see out in daytime is evidence of light being present. But is this enough?

    Has anyone had any experience with this?

    Ideally, I would like to charge my phone/iPad/etc in a time similar to how long it would take to charge from the mains. Is this possible from a relatively small priced charger (like the one in the link)
    You need to be looking at much larger solar panels to save for money.
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/batteries-an...power-stations
    But they do cost a lot

    I recall some people were able to get discounts by local council if they put solar panels on their roofs, any extra they make goes to the grid which they get paid for
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    Waste of time and money tbh.
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    Solar chargers aren't great. I don't think any of them have the power output to charge an iPad, and only the most expensive can manage the current needed for an iPhone. They're slow, and unreliable thanks to our weather system. And the total electricity saving is going to be minimal, you'd probably need to be using that solar charger for a few decades to recoup the cost.

    (Original post by Iqbal007)
    I recall some people were able to get discounts by local council if they put solar panels on their roofs, any extra they make goes to the grid which they get paid for
    I think the subsidies have been cancelled now, but if it's a council thing then that might just be in my area. :iiam:
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    (Original post by Dmon1Unlimited)
    Really? There was one I saw for about £35, thought I would have eventually made a difference with it assuming it was possible to fully charge a device with it.

    Would of thought anything left on long enough would become a significant cost to maintain even if it were a phone?

    Right now, i already turn off things I don't use, turn lights off etc (though I can't say the same about whether my housemates do the same or not).
    question is, would you really have the patience to wait 7-9 hours for the damn thing to charge up every time you wanted to charge your phone or m4p player or whatever? I know I wouldn't!

    also i personally think the device will break/battery will die before you ever break even with the amount you save on your electricity bill!
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    At present I think Solar or Wind power only makes sense for those that know what they're doing and can invest in it properly or have particular requirements.

    I know of one project where Solar and Wind power are being used to power a radio repeater (reciever and transmitter combination) that works but the power side cost several thousand pounds to install and needs constant maintenance. I think the main reason they did it that way was because mains power wasn't available at the site so Solar/Wind was the cheapest option.

    For home use I think the only option that might start paying for itself in any reasonable time scale is a large number of solar cells fitted to the roof and tied into the national grid. That way you can get power from the national grid in the evenings when you need it and feed power into the national grid when you don't need the power being generated (daytime)
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    A solar charger is an absolute waste of money especially if you live in a maritime climate environment, unlike newer solar panels which doesn't require direct sunlight to work, the solar cells in these chargers aren't that fancy and will essentially require you to place that charger in direct sunlight or under a rather powerful lamp for it to work......... don't bother, you probably save more energy around the world by not buying one those gimmicks.
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    Do you know how much energy kettles use ffs?

    This is why you should always add minimum level of water in your kettle. Basically, if you're making one cup, then add water to the point where it says "one cup."

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Updated: August 7, 2012
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