Alternative Power Sources for Cell Phones
During a crisis or emergency situation it is important that a cell phone has battery life. Many people only think of plugging a charger into the wall. But what happens when the power is out for an extended period of time during a crisis?
Replacement Cell Phone Battery
Some cell phones have the option of replacing the battery. There are both options for original manufacturer replacement batteries as well as batteries manufactured by third parties. If your phone is critical consider carrying a charged backup/replacement battery for your cell phone.
Tube Battery Cell Phone Charger
A number of manufacturers have created all-in-one portable charger, that is essentially a "tube" battery chargers. The chargers will charge cell phones or other wireless devices provided that you have the appropriate cables and connections. Tube battery chargers are compact and light weight, making them quite portable, and a great backup power option.
Solar Panel Cell Phone Charger
Small and portable solar panels can be used to charge cell phones. There are generally two types of solar panel cell phone chargers available. One style contains an external battery source, while the other type does not contain an form of external battery storage. If the solar panel cell charger does not have an external battery source, the solar charger can power the cell phone, but cannot itself store the energy for later. In general, the larger the solar panels used the more energy that can be captured. However, the larger the panels are less portable, and may not be optimal if you are traveling.
Solar panel cell phone chargers do not require external electrical sources are they are "renewable energy" making them optimal for extended outages. Solar cell phone chargers are also green, as they generate no emissions, waste or byproducts. That said, solar panel cell chargers are much slower to charge a cell phone than a traditional power source. Additionally solar panel cell chargers are ineffective if direct sunlight is unavailable, so if the crisis is a natural disaster that is weather related, solar panel charges are not an ideal power source.
Wind Mill/Turbine Cell Phone Charger
Another cell phone charging option is a micro wind powered mobile charger. Similar to the solar powered cell charger, the micro wind mill/turbine can charge a cell phone if wind is available. Wind mill/turbine cell phone chargers are green as they generate no emissions, waste or byproducts. The cell phone wind chargers are portable and like the solar chargers they can only store energy if they also contain battery storage. They too have the limitations that they are ineffective if a wind source is unavailable.
Cigarette Cell Phone Charger
A running vehicle can be used to charge a cell phone battery. The cigarette lighter receptacle on vehicles were initially designed to power/heat a cigarette lighter, and while that is no longer a common use, they are still referred to as "cigarette lighters". The receptacles have become the standard power source to supply electrical power for portable accessories/devices used in or around vehicles.
Bike Cell Phone Charger
There are bicycle powered cell phone chargers. An example is ECOXGear, which is a battery pack that attaches to the front wheel of a bicycle, as the wheel turns it powers the cell phone charger. As long as the wheel is turning power is produced.
Hand Crank or Foot Pump Cell Phone Charger
In a similar fashion cell phones can also be manually charged using a hand crank charger or a foot pump charger. The pump charger generates electricity from a mini turbine that is rotated from the movement (either a foot pump or hand cranking). The kinetic movement produces energy which is converted to electricity.
Camp Stove Cell Phone Charger
Believe it or not Biolite produces a camp stove that will convert "fire" into electricity. A strong fire in a Biolite camp stove will power most USB chargeable devices.
A little forethought goes a long way. We have all come to rely on cell phones and technology in our daily lives, when a crisis strikes be prepared so that you will still have your cell phone and its capabilities in an extended emergency situation.
Article Date: August 6, 2020