How Long Does it Take a Solar Charger to Charge a Cell Phone?

The time a solar charger will take to charge your phone depends on the solar panel and the type of cell phone you have. Averagely, a solar charger with a 20W panel will take 40 to 50 minutes to charge a typical cell phone, one with a 15 W panel will take fifty-two minutes to one hour 6 minutes, and a 10W panel charger will take one hour 18 minutes to an hour and 36 minutes, while a 5W solar panel will charge your phone in 2 and half hours to 3 hours.

Cell phones have become increasingly reliable and essential for running daily activities. This is because you can access almost every service via your phone. This includes but is not limited; to communicating with family and friends, online meetings, buying, and ordering food via your cell phone. However, power outages are also unavoidable and thus need to have an alternative charger for your phone.

Solar chargers have proven to be reliable and cost-effective as they do not incur additional costs once bought since they derive their power from the sun. The only issue with solar chargers is that they will take more time to charge your phone compared to electric chargers.

How long will it take for a solar charger to charge my cellphone?

As mentioned above, several factors will affect the time a solar charger takes to charge a phone. The main factor is the wattage of your solar panel as well as the battery size of your phone. Other factors include but are not limited to; the solar panel’s angle or position, the type of charger, temperature, and irradiance.

Therefore, the best way to recharge your phone will be using a solar power bank, as using a solar panel is subjected to inconsistencies that are caused by weather chargers. Additionally, using a power bank will lessen the charging time as it provides consistent power to charge your phone.

Different cell phones and their average charging time using a solar charger

Phone model iPhone 13 iPhone 12 iPhone 11 Samsung Galaxy S21
Charging time (5W panel) Two and half hours to 3 hours 2 hours to 2 hours 36 minutes 2 hours 24 minutes to 3 hours 3 hours to 3 hours and 48 minutes
Charging time (10W panel) 1 hour twelve minutes to one and a half hours An hour to one hour 18 minutes 1 hour 18 minutes to 1 hour and 36 minutes One and a half hours to 1 hour 54 minutes
Charging time (15W panel) 50 minutes to one hour 42 to 52 minutes 47 minutes to an hour An hour to one hour and 18 minutes
Charging time (20W panel) 37 minutes to 45 minutes 32 to 39 minutes 35 minute to 44 minutes 46 minute to one hour

However, it is important to note that the charging time might vary depending on the solar panel output. The above charging times are estimated using an output of 80% to 100%.

How many solar panels are required to charge a cell phone?

In bright sunlight, a single 10 Watt solar panel can comfortably and effectively charge your phone. However, most phone solar chargers are built with 3 to 4 solar panels that are compact and attached to each other. These designs allow the solar panels to fold when they are not being used.

It is important to note that solar panels come with different power ratings, which determine the amount of energy they produce under optimum conditions. However, your phone can charge with a solar panel with a minimum power rating of 5 Watts.

How can I reduce my phone’s charging time when using a solar charger?

As mentioned above, the speed a solar charger takes to charge your phone depends on a couple of factors like the Wattage ratings and weather. To speed up your solar charger, you can ensure that you charge one device at a time and angle it perpendicular to the sun.

Charging one device at a time prevents splitting of the power produced with the solar charger amongst many devices. Consequently, it is recommended that you buy a solar charger that has a battery to help store power.

How long will my solar charger last?

The shelf life of your solar charger depends on how frequently you use it. Generally, solar chargers will last around 300 charges to 400 charges. However, other than having a definite shelf life, solar chargers are great to have as they come along with several benefits. These benefits include;

  • Solar chargers require minimal maintenance.
  • Solar charger power can be stored and used at a later time
  • They are portable and easy to use

These chargers also have some limitations, which include;

  • Are not fast charging compared to electric chargers
  • They are expensive
  • They depend on direct sunlight, so their efficiency is affected by the weather.


In conclusion, a solar charger s definitely a device that you should invest in. These devices will act as a backup plan when there is a power outage, as solar chargers with batteries are reliable. However, these devices will take a longer time to charge your phone compared to electric chargers. Additionally, when using a solar charger directly, you must ensure the output voltage is controlled so as not to damage your phone battery.


Will my solar charger work on cloudy days?

Yes, it will. However, it will not be as effective on sunny days, and thus you will take a lot of time to charge your phone while using it.

What is the best solar charger for cell phones?

The BigBlue 5V 28W Solar Charger is a high-rated solar charger for either your cell phone or tablet, as it is made of four solar panels of 7W each.

Can a solar charger damage my cell phone battery?

Yes. When charging your phone directly with a solar charger, your battery can get damaged if you do not control the output. This is because bright, direct, and excessive sunlight releases more voltage than your phone requires.

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