Solar power isn’t a new concept, but it’s becoming more and more common. This type of energy is being used everywhere, from powering cars to streetlamps to house appliances. The move to USB form–as solar power banks, to be specific–is just the next step.
At the most basic level, solar energy is simply energy generated by the sun. To dive in a little deeper, the power is generated by photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic, or PV, translates as ‘light’ and ‘electric.’ So a product which runs on solar energy contains panels made from materials that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. This means that, when sunshine strikes the panel, the photons from the light activate the electrons, and electricity is generated.
The Market for Solar Power Banks
As the market for mobile products grows, so does the need for alternate, effective forms of mobile energy. Our phones are no longer just phones; they consume internet, 3G and 4G data at monstrous rates (as any parent of a Snapchat-addicted teen can tell you). And the need for this consumption is round-the-clock, wearing out batteries quickly. Power banks allow those on the go to keep their devices powered up, even without an outlet nearby. But this doesn’t quite fix the problem. Eventually, the traditional power bank will need to recharged.
This is where the renewable solar power banks have an advantage. In addition to being eco-friendly, all they need is light to recharge. Travelers to remote locations with unreliable connections, not to mention inhabitants of emerging rural markets, can now experience consistent power sources.
Pros and Cons of Solar Power Banks
Like any product, there are advantages and disadvantages to relying on solar power. Solar energy produces electricity when it’s need, so it doesn’t waste power in sleep in ‘always-on’ mode. It also produces no emissions. This is quickly becoming a huge factor from an environmental standpoint.
However, the disadvantages are just as obvious. Nighttime as well as inclement weather are the main hurdles. Compatibility with the variety of devices is an ongoing challenge for any third party product provider. Finally, price is a factor in the solar power bank industry. These types of power banks tend to cost more than the traditional style.
Solar Power Bank Outlook
Regardless of these challenges, the outlook for the solar power bank market is positive. As with any new, innovative device, it takes time for both manufacturers to get it right, and for the clients to become receptive. At any rate, for any organization looking to be perceived as eco-friendly and innovative, solar power banks might be the right statement to make for giveaways. Gizbot has compiled a list of their favorite solar power banks/light lanterns.
While Sunrise hasn’t entered the custom power bank packaging arena for solar products quite yet, we look forward to seeing what the product brings to the USB industry!