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Using Solio for power hungry devices June 16, 2008

Posted by jupiterorbit in Solar Energy.

When I first bought my Solio solar powered battery charger, after one month of use I came to the conclusion that you would never in your right mind need to or even want to use such a device if you lived in a modern city environment where access to electricity was available everywhere. Well this blog entry sees me eating humble pie or put another way, eating my own words.

I’ve recently started to use my Nokia N82 and N95 extensively for data and power intensive uses. I’m quite hooked on Nokia’s sports tracker software which enables you to track your walks, jogs, bus and train journey where ever you go using assisted GPS and the 3G network. Any phone that has GPS turned on and 3G going at the same time will struggle to give you more than half a days worth of battery power. In general, I’ve found that on the Nokia N82, I get about 4 hours of continuous use of Nokia sports tracker on a fully charged battery before it gives up on me and the N95 is just a total disaster with under 2 hours usage. Add to all this the fact that I’m now constantly taking photos on my mobile phone and uploading throughout the day to Flickr and also using Nokia’s OVI social netwoking community more and more which means I have further reasons to drain my mobile battery very rapidly. In these situations, especially when you’re on the movie and not close to a power socket, I’ve found the Solio to be an instant life saver. I can effectively double the battery life of my N82. After just 20-30 minutes of charge from a fully loaded Solio, I’ve bought myself 4 more hours of usage. The more I get in to power hungry applications on my Nokia, the more I am appreciating the benefits of having a portable charger such as the Solio.

Often, solar chargers are touted as money saving devices. I’m not entirely buying in to this, purely because if I was to seriously impact my electricity bill as home, I’d have to be constantly charging my mobiles up on the Solio and this is not very practical given the fact that even on a sunny day, assuming you constantly keep the Solio pointing directly at the sun (something I often forget to do) it takes up to eight hours to charge up the Solio to full capacity. Given that quality sunny days in the UK are quite similar, this means I usually charge my phones every night off mains and then use the Solio as an emergency backup when I’m on the move. If, however, you own just one mobile phone and you live somewhere where you don’t have access to high speed networks or don’t talk often on the mobile, then s full days charging of your Solio, followed by over night recharging of your mobile may work out perfectly for you. That’s also assuming that where ever you live the sun shines all day without a cloud in site. A tall order for even the sunniest of climates, would you agree?



1. Greapleper - August 3, 2008

Very nice!!

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