Solar clocks are already a practical invention. But how does a solar clock actually work?
In this article, you will learn exactly how a solar clock works and what you have to consider when wearing a solar clock.
So let’s go!
Using solar cells on the dial, a solar watch converts light into electrical energy stored in a battery or capacitor. In turn, the energy from the battery powers the movement and hands of the watch. The basis of a solar clock is a regular quartz movement, which is responsible for the exact measurement of time.
Therefore, solar clocks are a further development of the conventional quartz watch. A significant disadvantage of quartz watches for a long time was that, unlike automatic watches, they rely on a battery and cannot supply themselves with energy.
This problem is solved with the solar clock. With the help of the solar cells installed in the dial, a solar clock can operate entirely by itself and is not dependent on a regular battery change.
But, how does it do that?
How Does A Solar Clock Work?
h are usually installed on the watch’s dial. The solar cells are often printed, so you can not distinguish them at all from a regular dial.
As soon as light hits these solar cells, they begin to produce electricity, which drives the quartz movement and supplies the hands or display of the watch with energy.
Contrary to what is often assumed, the electricity produced by the solar cells does not flow directly into the movement but is first stored in a battery.
From the battery, the current then flows into the movement where it makes the watch quartz vibrate and moves the hands of the watch or supplies the digital display with power.
This means that the solar clock also works when it doesn’t get any sunlight. Today, solar cells are so efficient that even a few hours of sunshine can be enough to operate a solar clock for several weeks or months.
The power reserve is the length of time that a solar clock can continue to operate without light.
While the first solar clocks were only managed without light for 48 hours, today’s solar clocks have a power reserve that ranges from several months to several years.
After a long time in the dark, some solar clocks go into a kind of energy-saving mode and stop moving the hands. This way, they can have the longest possible power reserve. As soon as the clocks come back into the light, they start to show the correct time again. Of course, time measurement is still going on.
What to keep in mind when recharging a solar clock
To charge a solar clock, it should be exposed to a luminous intensity of at least 1000 lx.
Direct sunlight is best for charging a solar clock. On cloudy days, charging is already much slower than in strong sunshine.
When charging in the sun, it is important to note that the watch does not get too hot and may be damaged.
Charging a solar clock without sun
A 30,000 lx led light is a great way to charge your solar watch even on cloudy days. It’s very small and easy to use.
To do this, place the solar clock with the glass down on the lamp that is charging it, then turn it on. This then provides the watch with a steady stream of bright light. Because of the LED technology used, there is also very little heat, which makes charging very easy.
How long does the battery of a solar watch last?
As time goes on, how long will the batteries in a solar watch last?
It doesn’t matter how long solar clocks last. Because the battery is always being charged and then charged again, it loses its capacity over time. But how long does a battery like this last these days, anyway?
Of course, this all depends on what kind and how well the battery is made. With cheap solar clocks, the battery should be able to last for 10 to 20 years. If you buy high-quality solar clocks, you can use them for 30 to 40 years without having any trouble.
It is also important to treat the battery well in order to get the most out of it.
Charge the watch often and put it under a light source for a few hours once a month. In addition, you should make sure that the battery doesn’t run out completely at all times. Such a deep charge can be very bad for the battery.
How to store solar clocks?
Solar clocks should be kept in a place where they don’t get too hot or too cold
If you don’t wear your solar watch for a long time, you should keep it somewhere where it can get some light.
Because the watch will run down the battery over time, putting it in a dark box in the basement isn’t a good idea. This could damage the battery.
People should put the clock in a room that is well-lit and near a window. Watch cases or watch cases with glass lids are also good.
Advantages of solar clocks
No battery change
While with normal quartz watches, you have to change the battery every few months, solar watches recharge on their own. Just make sure that the watch gets enough light.
This will save you a lot of time and money over time. It’s also ready to use at any time.
Good for the environment
A lot of environmentalists have a good thing to say about solar power, and this isn’t a coincidence. Once a solar cell is made, it produces electricity for a long time without making any waste.
With solar clocks, there is another advantage. here are less batteries that will need to be thrown away. If you have a regular quartz watch, you’ll have a lot of empty batteries that need to be thrown out. However, if you want to buy a solar watch, it only has one battery that can last for 20 to 40 years.
As long as solar clocks are always running, you don’t have to change them very often. After changing the battery in a normal quartz watch, you have to adjust it again. Solar clocks have to be adjusted by a few minutes every few years, though.
Disadvantages of solar clocks
Don’t last forever
Manufacturers often say that their solar watches will last forever, but this isn’t true. After a few years, the battery loses its ability to hold a charge until it can no longer be used. Then you’ll have to change the battery or buy a new one.
More expensive than quartz watches
Due to the built-in solar cells, solar clocks are of course also slightly more expensive than normal quartz watches.
Alternatives to the solar clock
With Kinetic watches, similar to automatic watches, are operated via a freely mounted rotor. Instead of winding up a spring, the rotor drives a small generator on which in turn charges the battery of the watch.
Kinetic watches are a good alternative to solar watches because they have similar advantages and can also save the battery change.
There are even some watches that combine both technologies and are charged both by the power of the sun and by the kinetic energy.
The best manufacturers of solar clocks
The following manufacturers are currently leaders in the field of solar clocks: