Using Solar to Recharge Household Batteries

   04.26.17

Using Solar to Recharge Household  Batteries

In a previous article we talked about using solar to recharge USB devices. Let’s expand on that topic and talk about recharging household batteries, such as AAA, AA, C, D, and 18650 li-on batteries with solar power.

18650 batteries are used in high output flashlights such as the ATactical A1, ATactical A1S, Thrunite Archer and a wide range of other flashlights.

To recharge batteries during prolonged power outages, I would use the generator and a battery charger. The generator is only used to keep the freezer and refrigerator cold. This gave the family a narrow window to recharge the batteries we needed for the night.

Rather than using the generator to charge household batteries, I decided to buy a 20 W solar panel.  The one I picked out was a NekTeck foldable panel from Amazon.

Next came the chargers.

Chargers

The plan was to go from the solar panel to a USB battery pack, and then to the battery charger. This meant the charger had to work off USB. In all honesty, I was not expecting very many USB battery chargers to be on the market.

Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised.

A few examples:

With the solar panel going to a couple of battery packs, this allows a number of people to charge their flashlight batteries, cell phones, and lanterns all at the same time and at any time they want.

I ended up buying two chargers, the XTAR VC4 and the Sunjack.

The first charger I bought was the Sunjack. When ordering the Sunjack charger, I missed the part where it said 4-5 hour charge time for AA and AAA household batteries. The Sunjack does not have a charge meter to let you know how charged the batteries are.

Since I have several flashlights that use an 18650 battery, I ordered the XTAR VC4. The XTAR VC4 has a charge meter so you know how charged the batteries are.

Now all I need is another battery pack, but that will be for another article.

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