Many people nowadays would like to use solar chargers for iPhones & iPods, smartphones and even tablet PC's and iPads. Unfortunately, as technology has progressed, so too have power requirements, meaning that many of the solar chargers available are not really suitable.
In general, most smartphones, iPods and iPhones can be charged from the USB connection of your laptop or PC. Typically, the USB port is limited to 5V DC and 500mA, which is fine for the majority of devices. In recent times, Apple in particular, has increased the current requirement of their devices, mainly because they need to use much larger batteries to support greater processor functionality. This has resulted in some very annoying side effects, one of which being that some devices (e.g. iPads) will not charge from a standard USB supply, while others (e.g. iPhone 4) will charge, but only slowly. An oddity specific to the iPad is that it will display 'Not Charging' when connected to a standard USB, but will slowly trickle charge when it goes into 'sleep' mode.
To overcome all of these issues, Apple added variable power USB ports to their Macbook range, which will supply up to 1.2A if a connected device calls for it. Owners of the iPad will have noticed that the charger supplied is a 5V 2A unit, whereas the latest iPhone charger is 5V 1A. They can be used interchangeably, but charging an iPad at 1A (not the maximum 2A) means it will take at least twice as long to reach 100%. The iPhones are also affected by slow charging times when using the standard USB ports and car adapters that are limited to 500mA.
For charging Apple products with solar panels, we recommend using a panel that produces at least 400mA for iPhones and iPods and at least 900mA for iPads. Ideally, for best solar charging, we suggest a 900mA solar panel for the latest iPhones and two panels connected together ('daisy chained') to produce 1.8A for iPads.
If you would like more information about solar chargers and panels for iPhones, iPads, iPods and Smartphones please refer to our Advice & FAQ section or contact one of our team..
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