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Solar Phone Charging... in Winter?

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Sunshine and snow are a great combo for solar. Cold temperatures improve the efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and increase energy output in winter.

Enjoying Canada's fall colours before the snow starts to fly
Adventure photographer @sebastianlhe hiking through the Alps with his Alto Solar Charger
Hiking through the Alps with an Alto Solar Charger

Most people know that to produce solar energy you need sunshine. But interestingly, the colder it gets, the more energy you can produce when using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, the most common solar panels used for generating electricity.

For example, if you like to adventure into cold snowy mountains and remote wilderness cabins during the winter, your solar PV panels will output about 10% more power as the temperature drops from 25º C (77º F) to freezing, 0º C (32º F). Efficiency will continue to improve as the temperature drops further. The trick is to make sure the snow doesn't cover your solar panels so you can reap the rewards!

The silence and serenity of fresh snowfall is truly one of life's little pleasures.

Soak Up The Sun & Recharge In Nature

When off-grid one of the most common devices we rely on is our phones. Whether for photos, keeping in touch or staying safe in case of emergencies, our phones are lifelines back to our loved ones and can keep us connected and safe. There is also the lure of working remotely, now so more than ever due to COVID-19, and using data to connect to the internet depletes phone batteries quickly.

To recharge and stay connected, one of the simplest and easiest solutions is solar: solar phone chargers, solar generators or custom solar systems. These can all help to keep you and your devices powered up and free from the grid without having to fire up a noisy fossil fuel generator with associated exhaust fumes, maintenance costs and refuelling hassles.

The most compact and portable option, the Alto Solar USB Phone Charger, is a foldable solar panel that fits in your bag or backpack and weighs only 285 grams. It can charge phones and USB devices anywhere the sun shines, and with the addition of a USB power bank, can provide portable solar power day or night. For larger loads and devices, the concept is scaled up using larger solar panels, solar generators and custom solar systems for clean, quiet power all year round.

So if there is sun, soak it up (literally) with solar power and preserve the pristine environment for your own enjoyment and for others. The silence and serenity of fresh snowfall is truly one of life's little pleasures.

"It is a simple and great device." - Akos D.

Get Inspired and Explore More

Where will you go for your next adventure?

Wondering how you can use solar to reduce your footprint and maximize your time with Nature?

Let us know! We're here to help you with solar wherever you go and share the journey towards a sustainable future.

Tomi Allen is the founder of Alto Solar Inc. a Canadian solar technology company specializing in the design, development and deployment of solar products and systems for off-grid adventures and on-grid demands. Learn more at

Photo credit: Sebastian Lehrke (@sebastian.lhe)

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