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Showing 1-10 of 284 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 309 reviews
on March 24, 2011
I bought two of these recently. They do what they are supposed to do. I've used them to recharge Sanyo Eneloop batteries after I drained them in my Kodak digital camera. This battery charger works quite well. It uses sunlight to generate a current that charges pairs of batteries in sizes AAA, AA, C, or D. It will also charge gum batteries.

Sanyo Eneloop AA Battery 4 pack Precharged Use Up to 1500 Times
Kodak EasyShare C182 Digital Camera (Blue)

However, it will not recharge 9-volt batteries. The voltage from the solar panel isn't high enough. If you want to charge a 9V battery, the product you need is

AA and 9 volt battery charger with 3, 6, 9, and 12 volt power supply

The only thing the Crane charger's dial really indicates is current. The time shown on the dial is an estimate based on the assumption that the battery was drained until its pole potential difference was about one volt. It isn't the amount of time remaining. You still have to check the batteries from time to time with a voltmeter, until they're just over 1.4 volts each when you measure them with a voltmeter 30 minutes after taking them out of the charger. (The battery voltage usually falls off by 0.01V to 0.03V during the first half hour after removal.)

Not all of these chargers are equals. Some of them generate a higher charging voltage than others do. I tested mine with a voltmeter and found that one of them has a maximum voltage (full sun on perpendicular panel) of 5.4 volts, while the other shows 4.8 volts. As the result, the charger that creates the higher voltage charges pairs of batteries faster than the other one does. But both of them do charge pairs of NiMH batteries.

Added 21 April 2011. I bought a third charger. The voltage in full sun with panel normal is 5.2 volts.

Will a solar battery charger pay for itself? It depends on how you look at it. Versus buying lots of single-use alkaline or lithium batteries, definitely it will. Versus recharging batteries with a cheaper house-current powered charger, probably not. In 1500 rechargings of a pair of Eneloop batteries, you'll be lucky to get a dollar's worth of electricity out of them, at the present price of utility supplied electricity.

E = total energy
B = number of batteries = 2
R = number of rechargings = 1500
P = electric power
T = time
V = average battery voltage = 1.25V
E = BRPT = BR(IV)T = BR(IT)V
IT = 2000 mAh = 7200 amp-sec
E = (2 batteries)(1500 rechargings)(7200 amp-seconds)(1.25 volts)
E = 2.7e7 Joules = 7.5 kWh
Cost = 7.5 kWh ($0.1/kWh) = 75 cents.

Consider a solar battery charger to be a way to hedge your battery investment against the possibility that you might not have house current someday.

Added 21 April 2011. The maximum charging voltage for my best Crane charger is 5.42V. Once it has enough light intensity to reach this maximum voltage, further increases in light intensity no longer raise the voltage, but will raise the current flow. In full sun, with panel normal, the highest current flow I noticed was 0.180 amps. So the power being put into the batteries, at most, by the Crane charger is about 0.976 watts. This energy transfer rate will slow to about 0.457 watts as the two batteries, upon being charged, oppose their own voltage to that from the solar panel, assuming that the sunlight remains at a constant intensity and that the panel remains normal to the sun's direction during that time. If I approximate the average energy transfer rate by averaging the extremes of net voltage, it would take about 7 hours to fully recharge a pair of 2000 mAh AA batteries that had been completely discharged before recharging. In actual practice, you don't really fully discharge the batteries; you recharge them when their voltage has dropped so low (but not to zero) that they can't make anything work anymore, so it doesn't take as long as seven hours to top them off again.

Added 21 April 2011. Contrary to some of the reviews here, this charger will charge a pair of AAA, AA, C, or D size NiMH batteries on a cloudy day. The voltage from the solar panel on a cloudy day remains high enough to do the job. However, because the current can be under 30mA under heavily overcast skies, the charging rate would be very, very slow.

Added 24 April 2011.
Assuming 1 volt potential difference across the poles of the battery.
Full sun: (5.4V-1.0V) x 180 mA = 0.79 W
Sunny w/ hazy sky: (5.0V-1.0V) x 150 mA = 0.60 W
Overcast by small cloud: (4.8V-1.0V) x 80 mA = 0.30 W
Strong overcast: (4.3V-1.0V) x 20 mA = 0.07 W
The charger works about 11 times faster on a clear day than it does on a strongly overcast day.

There's no need to weep and gnash your teeth in the outer darkness. With rechargeable low-self-discharge batteries and these solar battery chargers, you'll have power for your flashlights and digital cameras far into the die-off period of the Apocalypse. So stock up!
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on June 27, 2015
I must warn any prospective buyer to beware, this device has some severe quality control issues! I had to return this device as it wouldn't stay operating. IF I jiggled the case or wires I could get it to operate for a few minutes and then it would stop again. While it is a nice concept and the reason I bought it was having an amp meter so you could see the charge rate it does have a serious limitation. First I noticed that any kind of shadow, like the sun going behind a tree reduced the miliamp output to almost zero. This on an extremely bright day.Second is that it can only charge 2 and only 2 batteries at a time. Since I have at least a dozen devices that use 3 batteries I would not be able to get my devices operational until 2 of them were down and needed charging. Having a solar charger already I decided to go with a USB device that will charge 1 to 4 batteries.
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on December 15, 2014
The internals on this are the lowest level of quality. Mine broke off a plastic piece and stopped working with very little (and gentle) use - see the photo. It worked fine before it broke, but I wouldn't rely on it.
review image
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on July 7, 2015
Really disappointed in this unit. It gives approximate charge times for various sizes of batteries, but a high capacity battery say a pair of 5k-10k Mah D cells would literally take WEEKS. Projected charge times are generally for batteries in the under 500 Mah range. Even the lightest duty AAA battery is usually 1500 Mah, so...... C Crane is generally a good company - I have known of them and purchased their goods for years, and it was because of that reputation I purchased this unit. The charging rates are laughable in the real world, and C Crane, of all, should be up front with it, so this is a surprise! The lid is supposed to tilt to angle to the sun for optimal charging, but it's a simple hinge that won't hold the lid at any specific angle - an easy fix, but a thoughtless design. The springs that hold batteries in place on this unit were absent or broken and so that didn't work. Lordy! Buy almost anything else, but NOT this one!
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on March 16, 2017
I was a little skeptical about this product but it seems to work as advertised. Bright sun was the best and fastest. Being limited in only being able to charge two batteries at a time was the reason for 4 stars. I have only used the "AA" battery charger area and left them most of the day with a full charge with my testers. I don't have a use for the gum charger spot but have some 3.7volt batteries I wish I could charge.
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on May 21, 2013
I tested the product in the hot desert of Southern California on a full day of sun in May. It was hot and very sunny. The batteries didn't charge at all. Had to plug them in to get a charge. I like the idea of a solar charger for camping etc. but couldn't get this one to work. Maybe I got a lemon considering the other reviews but I returned it.
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on January 1, 2014
This little charger worked very well today. I also bought a battery tester and had confirmed two of my AA rechargeable batteries were dead. I loaded them into the Solar 11-in-1 battery charger and two hours later they tested ready to roll... fully charged. What I find particularly satisfying is that the company must have taken notice regarding some complains that the smaller batteries slipped around or fell out. Mine came with a folding ring that kept my batteries in place. Good design change. Overall, the unit seems a bit flimsy or fragile but it worked well for me and in a short time with the power of the sun. For about half the cost of my second choice, I will honestly say I am quite pleased.
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on February 9, 2015
So far an excellent product based on its 11 possibilities. I'm using this to charge D cell batteries (10,000mAh) for battery powered 10-inch fans found on Amazon. Summer and 30 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico. 85° F. No electricity. No A/C. No moving air at all. Any moving air is wonderful. With this recharger, the fans can run for days and days.

PROS:
► Extremely useful anywhere tropical storms or hurricanes hit.
►Attractive & efficient case with adjustable lid.
► Very nice meter for information and performance.
► Can't beat the multiple battery sizes it holds.

CONS:
None
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on March 28, 2012
This charger feels well made and should last for a long time. The meter tells you how much power is being put out from the solar panel. However it does not tell you how much power is in the batteries. So you have to determine how long you should charge the batteries by looking at the capacity of the batteries you have and the amount of power (sun) is being put into the solar panel. For example you have a 2000 mAh AA battery and the charger is dishing out 160 mA then you to take 2000 divided by 160 equals 12.5 hours of charging to fully charge your battery. (its all in the instructions provided and a sticker on the back of the charger). The charger also has a kickstand so it can be angled for optimum view of the sun. Note: there are different capacities of batteries out there. The higher the capacity the more expensive the battery is. I purchased NIMH 2000 mAh AA and some 700 mAh AAA rechargeable batteries form HarborFreight.com they have 10%-20% off sales from time to time. Anyways these batteries are good up to 800 charging cycles. These are about med grade in capacity.

There are two different types of rechargeable batteries. NIMH and NICD this charger says it can charge both. (do not mix different batteries)

The only thing I wish it had was the capability to charge 9v batteries, but I knew this before I bought it.
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on April 13, 2014
1. The solar cells are old style and are not effective collectors. Does not collect in indirect light, does not collect when cloudy, does not collect off indoor lights. Will collect if placed in direct sunlight or floodlight, but only just barely. Voltage output in all four bays was 1.2 volts when it should have read 1.35 volts. The Prismatic bays should be recharging at 3.8 to 3.85 v.
2. Prismatic batteries.... For grins I tried 4 CR123a stacked 2 in each bay to get them to fit. As expected it just won't charge the 3.7 volt batteries.
3. $3.00 solar lights have better collectors than this one. They recharge 1 ea AA or AAA (depending on type or light) in about 3 hours.
But it does not help me here to get my CR 123a's recharged via a solar recharger.
Splice
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