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Today’s generation has seen so many technological advancements across the world. Everywhere you look, you will see someone surfing the internet on a laptop, taking a selfie with a new smartphone or talking to Siri. Everything is so portable and digital that you can now connect with the virtual world wherever you are.
However, technology has its limitations. For example, handheld devices can only perform as long as they have enough battery. Sure, you can use a power bank, but these devices also have a limited amount of power.
So what’s the solution for this problem? One genius idea is to put solar panels into backpacks, creating a charging station that you can take with you wherever you go. A solar-powered backpack is a great travel companion that will power your gadgets and help you stay connected. Using the sun as your power source, you’ll never run out of power again.
Do you want to know how solar-powered backpacks work? Then read on.
Understanding Solar Technology: How Solar-Powered Backpacks Work
In order to comprehend how solar-powered backpacks work, you first need to understand solar power in general. The main components used in this kind of technology are photovoltaic or PV cells. They come in a form of modules or panels that you often see on the roof of some homes. The job of the PV cells is to collect light from the sun. They then convert it into another form of energy that can be utilized again, which is electricity.
PV cells can’t do everything on their own though, they need the help of semiconductors to conduct the electricity. These semiconductors are made from silicon. Silicon semiconductors are shiny which can prevent the PV cells from absorbing sunlight, which is why manufacturers add a special coating to the cells to minimize the reflections and reduce the energy loss. So to summarize, the important components of solar technology are PV cells, silicon and the special coating.
Now, let’s take a look at the whole process more closely. When the sunlight hits the PV cells in the form of panels, the silicon absorbs some of the light. The electrons in the semiconductor will begin to flow freely.
Next, the electrical field found in the PV cells will force the electrons to flow in one direction, creating an electric current. This new energy is ready to be used once it is harnessed through the metal points connected to the panels. The energy can be instantly used or stored in batteries.
Solar Power Technology in Backpacks
When you see a solar-powered backpack, you will notice that the solar panels are positioned in a place where they can easily collect sunlight. They use a lithium-ion battery pack where the converted energy is stored, producing as much as 4 watts of power.
Most manufacturers boast that their product can charge a smartphone after just an hour of exposure to the sun. You can even store enough energy to last up to 55 hours if you expose the panels to the sun for 10 hours.
Unlike the gigantic solar panels in houses and laboratories, these models are made to be light. That way, they are easier to carry around when traveling or hiking. Aside from this, they are also waterproof.
Most solar-powered backpacks can provide enough charge for smartphones, tablets and even laptops. Most of them also have a USB plug and adapters for your gadgets. During cloudy or rainy days, some solar-powered backpacks can function as a huge power bank. They come with AC adapters so you can charge them at home or in your car before going out.
What to Consider When Buying a Solar-Powered Backpack
There are a lot of brands to choose from and each of them promises to provide the power you need for your gadgets. How can you know which to choose?
First, you have to assess how much are you going to use the solar-powered backpack. Do you go out often? Do you really need a large source of electricity everywhere you go? Which gadgets do you want to charge?
When you are looking for the right brand, you should check the power, features, integrated systems and of course your budget. Is it portable? Does it offer the functions that you are looking for?