Hand-cranked power generation and solar conversion, are these “abnormal” power banks practical?

Use your mobile phone to scan the code to pay, ride a bicycle, contact people via WeChat or phone, and open the takeaway software to arrange daily meals.

Ubiquitous electricity and the Internet constitute the entire life of modern people. The convenience within reach is easy for people to fail to realize its value, because in a peaceful day, power outages and Internet outages are a distant topic.

However, a torrential rain broke the calm. In the face of unforeseen disasters, the order supported by electricity and the network is not as firm as we imagined.

In the critical moment of power outages and network failures, how can we send out a rescue signal if we are disconnected from the cable? In order to answer this question, I ordered 3 emergency power banks to test if they can be useful in emergency situations.

Charging mobile phones is not its job

The first power bank is currently the one with relatively high sales on e-commerce platforms, and the price is around 100 yuan.

Just looking at this shape that makes people want to be crooked, I believe that many people will not associate it with a power bank.

The top of the power bank is LED lamp beads, the brightness can only be said to be satisfactory, and the maximum lighting distance is only about 2m.

The gray ring in the middle gathers its control buttons. Press to control the channel and playback volume of the FM radio station.

Yes, it is also a radio, with a speaker at the bottom, but it can only search for channels automatically, and it is difficult to receive signals in most cases. This function is quite tasteless.

In fact, the battery capacity of this power bank is only 500 mAh. The advertised "charging other devices" seems to be just a gimmick. This capacity should only be enough to shine.

On the other side of it is the hand crank that we are most concerned about. Let us try our best to see if biological power generation can save the cell phone at risk.

Before testing the charging, we turn on the radio and flashlight to drain the battery inside, then shake the handle for 10 minutes, and then connect it with the mobile phone (battery capacity 4500 mAh) via USB to see how much power can be "shaked".

As a result, the phone on the other end did not respond at all, and it was not charged at all.

Just when we began to wonder if it was broken, we tried to turn on the flashlight and the radio again, and both functions were able to work normally.

It seems that the amount of electricity produced and stored by a 10-minute hand crank is too small to cope with the "high-demand" work such as mobile phone charging, while the electricity demand of flashlights and radios is much lower, so they can be used normally.

If you need to charge the mobile phone, you need to connect the charging cable to the mobile phone, and then start shaking the handle.

After we worked tirelessly for nearly 30 minutes, the power of the mobile phone (with the super power saving mode turned on) finally rose from 1% to 2%, and during the period, it dropped back to 1% many times.

We tried to simulate the rescue environment, using this 2% battery phone to talk for a total of 3 minutes from when the phone was connected to when the phone was turned off.

The result of the charging experiment is related to the phone model and signal strength. An experiment has no representative meaning, but from the charging experience, this hand-cranked power bank is really not suitable for use in extreme environments.

The first is that both hands must be exerted when shaking hands. This will consume a lot of physical strength. Basically, the arms will become sore for ten minutes.

The second is that the efficiency is too low. Using 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise for 3 minutes of communication time can only come in handy under very extreme circumstances.

From this point of view, it is actually the same as the ordinary 20 yuan hand-cranked power flashlight. The so-called mobile phone charging function is just a forced derivative of hand-cranked charging.

In extreme environments, physical strength and time are very precious resources and should be used in self-help operations with higher survival probability and more reliable.

And for the hand-cranked power bank that needs to consume two steamed buns, it is obviously not suitable.

On the surface it is a power bank, but it is actually a "Swiss Army Knife"

After testing the last hand-cranked power bank, I have no hope for the hand-cranked power bank, but the promotion of this power bank still aroused my interest.

First of all, it is really a power bank, with a built-in 2000 mAh battery, which can still restore the battery power required for communication in an emergency.

And finally there is a really usable radio on it. Pull out the antenna and turn the knob to receive AM/FM signals.

The flashlight function is a necessary function of this kind of emergency power bank. Press it to switch between light and SOS mode, and long press it to sound an alarm at the maximum volume.

Turning on the front flashlight, it can also be turned into a small desk lamp. It is like a "Swiss Army Knife" that integrates multiple functions.

Of course, what we are most concerned about is its hand-cranked charging function, whether it can play a role in extreme situations.

Unlike the previous model, the handle of the "Swiss Army Knife" will feel a little better to hold and turn it more briskly.

However, in terms of power generation, the brisk feel does not take up any advantage. Limited by the power ceiling of hand-cranked power generation (my wrist power), its charging speed still disappoints us.

Tests with professional instruments found that the average power of hand-cranked charging is only 1W, and the power will fluctuate at different rotation speeds.

Compared with the adapter charging that we are accustomed to, hand-cranked charging has too many influencing factors, and the frequency of rotation needs to be kept constant to achieve stable charging. This is too difficult for carbon-based organisms that are prone to fatigue.

Are solar power banks really "chicken ribs"?

Compared with the complicated electric energy conversion method of hand-cranked charging, the photovoltaic conversion of solar energy is much easier.

Its advantages and disadvantages are obvious. The advantage is that it can be used without charging. The disadvantage is that the efficiency of photoelectric conversion is not high and it is very dependent on sunlight.

My colleague Xiaohuan once bought a solar power bank. He said that the charging efficiency of a single solar panel is really too low, so I learned a lesson before buying and chose a multi-panel solar power bank, 4 panels, 4 times happy .

After I completely used up the battery, I exposed it to the sunny weather in Guangzhou for 1 hour, and then connected it with my mobile phone (4500 mAh) to see how much it could charge.

Watching the completely dead cell phone light up, and when the charging stops, a total of 10% of the battery is charged. Although it sounds not much, I am still very excited-this is the best performing one of the 3 power banks , And it doesn't take much effort.

10% of the battery is enough to support us to talk to rescue forces for more than 30 minutes, and valuable timely communication is particularly important in rescue operations.

Going back to this power bank, its solar panel is connected to the power bank through a magnetic interface. When solar charging is not needed, its solar panel can be removed and used as a 25000 mAh power bank.

Compared with hand-cranked power banks, solar power banks seem to be a more efficient choice. When traveling outdoors, many travellers also choose to place solar power banks on their backpacks to supplement emergency power while climbing.

Before purchasing the experience, I found that the sales of the 3 power banks on the e-commerce platform were not high, and after experiencing it with other colleagues, everyone unanimously gave a "chicken rib" evaluation.

But when we are measuring the role of this type of emergency electrical appliances, we should not compare it with normal electrical appliances.

In the case of power interruption, inefficient energy sources such as hand crank and solar power are almost the only way to obtain electricity.

These disaster prevention appliances will not be used as our daily equipment, and when we need them, every opportunity to contact the outside world can increase our probability of survival.

Because in the face of disaster, nothing is more important than hugging each other.

Higher, higher.

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