PowerFilm AA Foldable Solar Charger
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- Durable and convenient
- Folds up compactly to fit into a pocket
- Charges 2 or 4 AA batteries
- Weighs less than 4 AA batteries
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This item PowerFilm AA Foldable Solar Charger
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|Sold By||PowerFilm Solar||PowerFilm Solar||PowerFilm Solar||Suaoki||Wildtek||Nekteck Direct|
|Connector Type Used on Cable||—||usb||usb||usb||usb||usb|
|Item Dimensions||5.5 x 3.25 x 1.4 in||1.5 x 1.5 x 7.75 in||4.5 x 10.5 x 2 in||6.3 x 11.42 x 1.81 in||6.6 x 12.4 x 2.2 in||1.06 x 6.3 x 11.1 in|
Ultra compact, ultra lightweight and yet very durable, the PowerFilm AA Foldable Solar Charger is ideal for everyday use. Charging 2 AA batteries in 3 1/3 hours of full sun or 4 AA batteries in 6 2/3 hours of full sun, the AA Foldable Solar Charger provides highly-effective battery charging. Proprietary charging circuitry maximizes the charge into the batteries. The lightweight and durable PowerFilm flexible solar panels are integrated directly onto the fabric, keeping the weight of the charger to less than 4 spare batteries. Six grommets, built into the charger, allow for secure fastening to a pack or the ground. (This product is no longer produced by PowerFilm and has been discontinued)
Top customer reviews
The whole thing folds up into a package slightly larger than the 4 cell battery compartment. It weighs about as much as the batteries. With 4 x AA batteries installed it weighs about 8 ounces. It has arrangements for hanging it from a pack by lanyards, so you can charge on the go while you hike. This, combined with the light weight and small size make it an ideal source of electricity for back country backpacking.
Be aware that it only charges AA batteries. You can't plug in your laptop or your blackberry...or even AAA batteries, so plan accordingly. Mine charges AA batteries very quickly. They say that 4 hours of fairly bright sunlight will fully charge 2 AA batteries and 8 hours is supposed to charge 4 AA fully. Since I don't ever run my batteries down that low, I can't vouch for these times, but it will top off a partially drained battery in about an hour. Even on a cloudy day, it can top off 2 batteries in less than 2 hours. That is comparable to any AC charger I have ever used.
It uses a thin film photovoltaic array, so it's flexible. This is both good and bad. The thin film is much cheaper, less prone to crush damage and folds up smaller, but it's probably only good for about 5 years use, roughly 1/4 of the life span of more expensive cells. This time limit only applies to the time actually spent in the sun. The clock stops whenever it is stored in darkness, so if used only for camping or other outdoor or emergency use, it should last pretty much forever.
This is not supposed to be an outdoor solar panel to mount on your roof. It's a very tiny charger for emergency power (or camping). If you take it for what it is, this is a great product.
I was hopeful for this solar charger would be able to charge AA batteries. On the positive side, this charger did appear to have some ability to charge certain AA batteries with a significant charge. The panels and nylon material appear well made. Overall, this is a very lightweight and compact set up. In addition, there are two red LED lights that indicate a full-charge with a constant on, charging with a single blink, and indicates an empty charger or low battery with a quick two-blink sequence.
Unfortunately, the charger did not work with a lot of my Sanyo Eneloop LSD, Energizer NiMH, and Duracell NiMH. I tried troubleshooting by using both newer and older batteries, charging two batteries at a time versus four at a time, using the three different brands mentioned, using the solar charger during peak hours in direct sun and also indirect sunlight, charging for two-days in a row to ensure enough charge time, and switching between any of the four AA slots on the charger. Most of the batteries would result in a quick two-blink (empty charger or low battery) no matter the arrangement or length of time in the charger.
Of the batteries that were accepted by the charger (couple of Eneloops and four of my Energizer NiMH AA batteries), those batteries never fully charged. I tried leaving the batteries in for two days of sunlight, but it made no difference. I compared the charge on the batteries to ones that were charged by my Sanyo Eneloop USB AA/AAA charger and Energizer Charger. The Sanyo Eneloop and Energizer chargers resulted in batteries with a full charge, while this PowerFilm charger left the batteries approximately 70 percent charged at best.
Overall, I rate this PowerFilm AA Battery Solar Panel Charger a 2.0 out of 5.0 stars. It got two stars for what appears to be good build quality built into a compact and lightweight design. It did charge some of the AA batteries, but I could not make any distinctions on what characteristics made it possible to charge the AA batteries that it did. Still, the batteries that could be charged, were not able to charge completely. The lack of overall and dependable function is the reason why I docked 3 stars. I wanted to like this charger, but it was a disappointment. Perhaps I got a defective unit. I will continue to seek a dependable, compact, lightweight, and durable source of solar power.
Well worth the money.