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PowerFilm 10-Watt Foldable Solar Charger Review,
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This review is from: PowerFilm 10 Watt F15-600 Foldable Solar Panel Charger (Personal Computers)
I have been trying out Solar Chargers for the past 6 plus months. Interest in solar charges grew from wanting to be prepared for emergencies. The electronic devices that I have are powered through AA, AAA, and USB sources. Therefore, my focus was on finding a solar charger that can power one or any combination of the three. This is the review of the PowerFilm 10-Watt Foldable Solar Charger.
Starting with some basic information for this charger, the product comes with the PowerFilm 10-Watt Foldable Solar Charger, one PowerFilm's RA-2 12 Volt Female Cigarette Lighter Adapter, a very basic instruction foldout, and everything is contained in a cardboard box. I appreciate the cardboard box as it does not waste space and is perfect size for efficient storage. It fits snugly around the charger which when folded, is approximately 10 1/2 inches long and 4 inches wide. The solar charger itself appears very durable and its build quality is excellent. It has a thin and flexible solar film encased in a UV protection layer, and it is stitched into durable nylon material. The manual instructs that if the solar charger becomes wet or submerged, it should continue to work after given some time to dry.
The solar charger was able to successfully charge my iPhone 3GS with different car adapters. With the iGo car charger and different levels of sunlight (direct-indirect, peak-off peak, etc.), I was able to charge the iPhone at a rate of 10% charge for every 14 minutes. This is fast when compared to different chargers that have been tested, especially among other solar and portable chargers. I never drain my iPhone completely, so actual trial times for a complete charge is not available.
Another great positive to this charger is that I am able to utilize my Sanyo Eneloop USB AA/AAA Charger attached to a Scosche USB car adapter. This provides the ability to charge AA and AAA rechargeable batteries. The Sanyo Eneloop USB Charger instructions states that it would require two hours to charge AAA batteries and four hours to charge AA batteries. The charge time was consistent whether it was connected to my MacBook or the Solar Charger.
Being rated at producing 15.4 volts with 0.6 amps, the PowerFilm 10-Watt Foldable Solar Charger is not likely to charge a power hungry item, such as a laptop computer, on its own. However, these panels can be connected in parallel with combined output of up to 20 amps. PowerFilm also makes similar foldable solar panels that are rated at 20, 30, and 60-Watts.
Overall, I rate this PowerFilm 10-Watt Foldable Solar Charger a 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. This solar charger meets all of my needs with great success. I am now able to power my AA and AAA rechargeable batteries, USB devices, and other devices using car adapters. Plus the build quality is excellent, the necessary female adapter is included, and the packaging is great. I finally found the dependable, durable, compact, and lightweight source of solar power that I have been searching for in case of emergencies.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 4, 2011 9:48:59 PM PDT
Thanks for this very detailed review. I'm going to purchase based largely on your recommendation!
Posted on May 12, 2011 11:22:02 AM PDT
D Teru says:
Thanks for the informative interview. I'm considering one of these for backpacking and am also looking into the Powerfilm with the 2AA charger. I notice that you didn't much care for the Powerfilm with the 2/4 battery charger. Do you feel that the experience would be about the same for the smaller unit as well?
BTW, read your comments on the Tiger Sahara water bottle. It worked great during a recent trip to the mainland. Too bad Amazon doesn't carry it.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 8:25:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2011 9:14:17 PM PDT
Real Name, No problem. Just hope that you find that this solar charger works well for you. Let me know how it goes.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 8:29:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2011 9:14:02 PM PDT
D.T., For smaller units, I am guessing you mean the 5-Watt version. I just don't know how it will work out. Based on my experience, it may be better to have the voltage and amps higher than what is needed to power the device. I tried another brand (also reviewed on Amazon) in 5-Watts and it could not provide the power needed to charge 2 AA batteries or my iPhone. Plus, I had a bad experience with the PowerFilm AA Charger and was not willing to take a chance with another unit, only to have to return it if things did not work out. That is why I skipped the 5-Watt version and went straight for the 10-Watt. Also factored in that there would be cloudy days as well, so went for more power. By the way, are you from Hawaii too? Oh, and both the Tiger Sahara and Thermos Bottle are working extremely well.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2011 9:15:13 AM PDT
D Teru says:
Yeah, born and raised in Honolulu and I'm planning on doing Kalalau and Halape/Ka'aha
this year, hence the research on chargers. Thanks for the comprehensive reviews.
Posted on Jul 22, 2011 9:46:20 AM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Also thanks for the detailed review. I was in particular looking to buy it for the use-case of charging batteries, and your review was the only one which provided such detailed use-case.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2012 6:15:24 PM PST
Help! I'm looking into solar chargers to use in case of emergency... but this emergency may not involve having an automobile handy. My question is: what else do I need to buy with this particular charger to be able to charge AA, AAA and maybe a smart phone or iPad? It seems there may be several aspects to being able to actually charge batteries. Can you simplify this at all for me?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2012 6:18:39 PM PST
Can I email you directly with questions about solar chargers???
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 9:35:52 AM PST
Hey Pam, Sorry this did not get to you sooner. I have been using the Sanyo Eneloop AA/AAA USB charger for AA and AAA batteries (I like the brand's USB charger and the low self-discharge batteries). I have also been using the Scosche USB car charger adapter. It has worked well with the iPhone 3GS and 4S. Overall, I really liked how these gadgets have worked with the Solar Panel. I have not tried the iPad to see if it charges. Let me and the rest of the Amazon community know how everything goes.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012 8:37:00 AM PDT
Steven M. Mcmahon says:
I just got a solar backpack which I backed on Kickstarter. They now sell them at Solzshoes.com. It has 3 1.5 watt panels for a total of 4.5 watts and also comes with a removable battery. In the limited time I've had this it has worked well, charging inside on a cloudy day and the battery works well. So my point to all this is that you may very well have decent results with a 5 watt panel. But 10 is definitely better.
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