A Good Solar Power Battery Charger

February 17, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin


This solar powered battery charger, Solar 11-in-1 Battery Charger, is a practical preparedness item to have for charging typical consumer-size batteries.

I have two solar battery chargers that look nearly identical to this one (except mine are an older version that do not have the built-in meter gauge). They are still working perfectly and I have used them countless times in the sun. Being able to charge batteries from solar energy for your flashlights, AM/FM/Shortwave portable radio, your emergency weather-alert radio, or your walkie-talkies or most any other consumer device, is ‘insurance’ that you will be a step ahead of the rest during black-out.


For some time I have been interested in solar power and harnessing solar energy, including large and small solar power systems as well as solar cooking and solar cookers. When I came across this small battery charger, I liked the fact that it includes a meter-gauge. It is nice reassurance to see the meter-reading of the energy being charged, and helps to optimize the angle of the solar panels facing towards the sun.

Battery chargers like this one require ‘rechargeable’ batteries of course. Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal-Hydride) batteries are economical and very good for rechargeable. Here are some of the latest technology Ni-MH rechargeable batteries:

AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries

AAA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries

C Size Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries

D Size Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries

Solar battery charger product information:

C.Crane Universal Solar 11-in-One Battery Charger with Meter – This high powered solar charger charges two Rechargeable Batteries of the same type and size (D, C, AA, AAA). It puts out about 150ma and about 5 volts. All of the other solar battery chargers we tested were unsuitable because their voltage was too low.

The solar panel is incorporated into the hinged cover which can be angled for maximum sun exposure. Its in-built meter shows you the following conditions: -The strength of the sun -The strength of the current out-put from the solar panel -The time required to fully charge the different types of batteries.

This battery charger incorporates a built-in blocking diode to prevent reverse flow of electricity from charged batteries during storage. This charger is an ideal gadget for camping, fishing, boating, and picnics.

“D,” “C,” “AA,” and “AAA” size batteries. Batteries D-Size (UM-1) 1500mA 5.6×16.4×66.2mm 600mA C-Size (UM-2) 1000mA 5.6×16.4×66.2mm 720mA AA-Size (UM-3) 500mA 6.1x17x67mm 650mA AAA-Size(UM4) 180mA 7.8×16.4xx66.5mm 850mA 8.3x17x67mm 900mA 10.5x17x67mm 1200mA 10.7x17x67mm 1750mA

The charger highlighted here is cheap insurance to keep your radios, flashlights and other consumer devices running. Some portable radios have built-in solar chargers, most of which are fairly poor quality chargers, while most flashlights do not. So, especially for keeping a charged flashlight at the ready, I would not be caught without a solar battery charger on hand.

I wrote an article, Off-Grid Charging System, AA,AAA,C,D,9v, which illustrates another method of solar charging, albeit a bit more expensive – but powerful.