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Posted by on Friday November 13, 2015 at 12:16:4:

If you are one of those who agree that people should get more reliant on solar energy rather than using other non-greener forms of energy for charging their electronics, then getting a solar charger is one thing you can do to make the world a better place. If you just want to get a solar charger for one reason or another, then you've also made a good decision. The big question then would be on where to get a solar charger.

As at 2015, there are no established industries in Nigeria that produces solar chargers and so Nigerians who want to buy solar chargers eventually end up buying solar chargers that are made in foreign countries and then imported into the country. This is despite the fact that Nigeria is a tropical country in West Africa that has sunlight most of the year round and should actually be investing more in solar power manufacturing plants.

Well, there are many places where one can buy solar charger in Nigeria and if you want them, you can buy them from the following places:

Where to buy

Jumia Nigeria: Jumia is a top online shopping website in Nigeria from where you can buy a lot of electronic stuff such as solar chargers. You'd find them in various ranges and prices depending on which ones you want. Jumia accepts cash, card and bank deposit payments from online buyers. You can find their list of solar chargers here

Konga: This is another cool online shopping website in Nigeria that has a lot of portable solar chargers listed online from where you can make your pick. You can buy the ones for your phones or for your laptop and you can pay in Naira. Konga can deliver to you anywhere in Nigeria and they also allow buyers to pick it up themselves. Checkout solar chargers on Konga here

Aliexpress: This is a Hong Kong based online shopping website that has tonnes of solar chargers listed online and basically looking for buyers. China has a large industry for the mass production of solar panels and chargers and so you are most likely going to get it from them at a low price and all you need is a Naira Visa or Mastercard issued by your bank. After you place your order, the Aliexpress seller would deliver the items to you using the channel you've chosen e.g. Postal mail, DHL, Fedex or UPS. Here is a list of solar chargers available on Aliexpress.

Local Electronic markets: A good example is the computer village at Ikeja or Alaba electronic market in Lagos. Just try checking a local electronic dealer or market close to you and inquire about them. Prices are local markets in Nigeria are not always fixed and is based on negotiation between the seller and the buyer.

Which Solar chargers should you buy?
There are different types and capacities of solar chargers in the market. Some have high quality while some are of low quality. You should buy a solar charger you can afford but chances are that it may not be as efficient or last as long as a more expensive or high quality one. Solar chargers come in different capacities expressed in Amps or milli-Amps and the capacity you should buy would depend on the capacity of the battery you want to use it to recharge. Solar chargers are also classified in Watts as well as voltage and that's why you'd see that a Solar charger which has a capacity of about 10 to 18V will be able to recharge a laptop's battery while another with a lower voltage output of say 5V would be ok to recharge smaller batteries like the one in your phone. Well, you don't have to really bother yourself with the specific power output for different solar chargers but ensure that when buying one, it is one recommended and capable to supply power for the type of device that you have for e.g. phone, tablet or laptop.

Some solar chargers come with their own internal batteries included while some are standalone solar chargers meaning that they can only store power by being connected to your device. Solar chargers with internal batteries can store power even without being connected to your device so that you can charge your device later on even when there is no sunlight.

What is the market price of Solar chargers in Nigeria?
Since they are made of different companies, different brands and capacities, their prices tend to vary depending on which one the buyer wants to buy. I'm going to list a bit of some of the ones I've noticed and their prices in Nigeria:

A 20,000 mAH Solar charger was listed on Jumia for N3,790

A 10,000mah Solar charger was listed on Jumia for N8350

A 20000 mAh Solar Charger Mobile Power Bank was listed on Konga for N5000

A High quality Dual USB External Battery Pack 10000 mAH Solar charger bank was listed on Aliexpress for $15.

Based on what I've seen, the prices of Solar charges can be as low as N2500(about $12) for a basic one which can charge your phone's battery while it can be higher than N10,000 for one that can charger a laptop's battery. High quality ones tend to cost a bit more than low quality ones and so the price should not be the only factor to consider when buying a solar charger except you just want to stick to a low budget.

Truth is there are no fixed prices for Solar chargers in Nigeria but the prices are definitely less than the cost of the device you are recharging them with. A solar charger capable of supply more power or voltage would be able to recharge higher power devices such as a laptop or tablet while low priced one that can supply little power are normally used for a smaller device like your mobile phone.

Some solar chargers only consist of small solar panels while some are what I'll consider solar power banks because apart from their solar cells, they also have an internal battery included and that makes them a bit more expensive than the former as they'll be able to store power even without being connected to a device.

The first solar charger I bought was one capable of charging my phone and power banks but it was large and a foldable 14 Watt charger. I can hang it on my window or my back pack and as long as it's facing the sun, it will be able to generate some charges.

Solar chargers work with sunlight and the larger their contact, the faster they'll be able to recharge your device. If the solar charger you purchased doesn't have it's own internal battery, you can always connect it to a Power bank so that the power generated can be stored and you can use it later to recharge your phone's battery.

When the sun's light reaches on them, their photo-voltaic cells gets activated and they start generating electrical energy which can then be transferred to an external device such as a battery. They mostly come with connecting ports which can work with several plugs.

So, you can buy solar chargers online using your computer and an internet connection or offline in Nigeria by physically visiting an electronics market and as a result of the fact that most of them are imported, it's going to cost a bit higher in Nigeria than their listed prices of foreign websites as a result of the exchange rate and custom duty on importing them.

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