7 Options When Charging a Power Bank Off-Grid

A power bank can be a lifesaver when you are out in the outdoors or when traveling. It is a source of power that stores power that you can use while on the go. This power should be enough to charge your device twice over. There are even some models on the market that allow charging more than two devices simultaneously.

So how does it work? The power bank is a device that stores electricity and releases it back to charge your device. This is done by converting the chemical energy of the battery into electrical energy. But the process that happens first is converting the electrical energy to chemical energy for storage.

How to Charge a Power Bank

So a power bank needs to be able to store enough juice. But how do you charge a power bank? To charge your power bank, plug in the USB cable coming from the wall adapter into the power bank’s input port.

The LED indicator on the power bank will turn red to indicate that it is charging. When the power bank has reached full capacity, the LED indicator turns green.

There are several ways to charge a power bank includes via an AC source like a wall socket, a DC source like another battery or power bank. Not all USB ports are created equal- some may not provide enough current (amps) to quickly charge your device.

1. Using a Laptop

Charging with a computer is very practical but the speed of this process is much slower than using a dedicated power adapter. A typical computer USB port outputs 0.5A @ 5V (2.5 watts). A wall adapter provides 1A @ 5V (5-6 watts).

That’s why we recommend using it only as an  emergency solution and if you don’t need your power bank quickly, because you can  charge it in around 10 hours or even longer

2. Using another Power Bank

Another option will be to use another power bank. This seems quite unnecessary but let’s assume that you have a friend who wants to share some juice for you to use for later.

Will charging a Power bank with another Power bank work. Yes, it will work. Power banks have an input and output port that is for allowing in charge and for discharging. To connect the power bank you want to charge into the output port of the Power bank through the input port of the first Power bank.

3. Using a Car Charger

A car USB port is also an option to charge your power bank when you don’t have access to an outlet. Just plug the USB cable into the USB port of the car charger.

This charger gets its power from the car battery which is charged by the alternator when the car is moving. This however will not work if the engine is not running. 

This is to save the car battery charge as it will go dead when discharged while the car is not moving. Leaving you unable to move.

4. Using a Solar Panel

With a Solar panel, you only need access to sunlight to provide charge to your device. A solar panel converts sunlight into electricity through a technology called photovoltaics. However, not all sizes fit all. In order to charge a power bank, you’ll need a solar panel that is of the right wattage. A 30-watt Solar panel will be more than sufficient to charge your power bank.

If you find a bigger solar panel you’ll need to use a charge controller that will regulate the voltage and charge so that you can use it safely. Some of these controllers have a 5v output made just for cell phones and power banks.

5. Bike Pedal or Hand Crank

Physical activity can provide energy that produces electricity. This power can also be used when charging your power bank. Movements like cycling can produce power through a dynamo that charges your power bank. Some of these devices have been made and are sold by biker shops.

You can also use a hand-cranking device that acts as an emergency tool to charge your power bank. We have listed an emergency cranking radio in our solar-powered gifts guide.

6. Batteries 

You can actually connect 1.5v batteries in series and they can produce enough charge to charge your phone or power bank. However, this will be very little charge and will bump up a few percent of the power bank. 

So it’s not a bad idea to have a few of these lying around they might come in handy someday. 

7.  Generators

Last but not least is the generator. A generator produces an alternating current much like the one you use in your home. But gas generators can be expensive to run and are also not environmentally friendly especially if you just want to charge a power bank.

That’s why we recommend the solar generator power station.

Technically not a generator it combines solar power with batteries to create the ultimate off-grid power source that can produce both AC and DC power and can be recharged by Solar Panels, a Car Charger,s or a Wall AC socket.

Well, these are some of the ways of charging your power bank in case of an outage or when you are far away from a power source. The best option depends on your situation and how soon you will get to a power source. In order to be on the safe side, you should plan a backup way in advance. 

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