Watches are investments for life. Time changes but the memories attached to a watch never fade away. Any watch is a classy piece of time but the most frustrating part about owning one is that it needs constant battery replacements. If you also want to get rid of this problem, switch from your traditional watch to a solar one. Solar watches don’t need usual batteries to operate and they are environmentally safe. They are easy to use and have fewer maintenance demands. If the only thing that’s stopping you from buying a solar watch is not knowing how does solar watch work. Then, this article is here to solve it for you. It will beautifully explain how do solar watches work, why are solar watches reliable, and the like.
How Does Solar Watch Work? How Do Solar Watches Work?
The watches that are powered by light energy converted into electronic current are called solar watches. Under the dial of such watches, there is a solar cell unit. A solar cell is responsible for converting light energy into electronic energy. A solar watch moves by using energy stored in its rechargeable battery. Unlike disposable batteries (like button batteries and dry batteries), rechargeable batteries are eco-friendly. Such batteries can be charged and discharged repeatedly over a long period of time.
1. The Environment Needed for a Solar Watch to Work-
- To maintain the appropriate functionality of a solar watch expose it to light but also make sure that it doesn’t get overheated.
- Usually, the sunlight in the room is less compared to outside, it normally takes more time to charge a solar watch indoors.
- To charge a solar watch fast, place it near the window so that its dial is exposed to the light.
2. Expose the Watch to Bright Light
A rechargeable battery is used to store the power generated by the watch’s solar cell. If you use or leave the watch in a dark place, it will drain the battery. Make sure that your watch is exposed to as much light as possible.
- When the watch is not worn on the wrist, point the watch’s face towards a bright light source.
- If the watch’s face is only partially covered its charge can be greatly reduced. So, always try to keep your watch on your sleeve as much as possible.
- Your watch also keeps running when no light hits it. So, leaving your watch in the dark can also drain its battery and disable some of its features. If the battery is dead, you will need to rearrange the watch settings after charging. To ensure the proper operation of your watch, make sure it’s exposed to the required amount of sunlight. With this, you should have gotten a better understanding of how does solar watch work or how do solar watches work.
How Do You Know the Charge Level of Your Solar Watch?
After learning how does solar watch work or how do solar watches work, you must also want to know about the process of detecting the charge level of your solar watch. On your solar watch, there is a battery power indicator that displays the current state of charge of the battery.
- When the indicator is flashing LOW at level 3, it indicates that the watch’s battery is low. In such a situation, you need to expose the solar watch to bright light as soon as possible to charge it.
- Level 5 of the indicator disables all features and resets settings to factory defaults. You’ll need to rearrange the current date, time, and other settings when the battery finally reaches level 2 after dropping to level 5.
- The display indicator will reappear as soon as the battery is charged from Level 5 to Level 2.
- If you expose the watch to very strong light sources like direct sunlight, the battery indicator may temporarily show a value higher than the actual battery level.
- Only after a few minutes, the correct battery value will be displayed. All segments of the battery level indicator will flash when the light or alarm is used multiple times in a short period of time. In such a situation, certain functions will be temporarily disabled when the battery level is restored. These functions include alarms and time signals, display backlight, and receiving time calibration signals. The watch will return to normal operation after the battery level indicator will stop flashing. This indicates that the battery level has returned to normal.
Also See: 13 Best Solar Watches
How Long Will a Solar Watch Last?
Apart from learning how does solar watch works, you should also learn about the lifetime of a solar watch. Over time, solar watches have gained immense popularity as they don’t need battery changes as often as regular watches. But it’s a fact that no battery can keep energy forever, and solar batteries also need to be changed. However, solar batteries can last for about a decade before needing a replacement.
Some batteries can even last longer than a decade because of their unique designs. For example, Citizen and Casio solar watches can last for about 20 years without needing to change the batteries.
The high-quality watches themselves can however last over twenty years. Your watch will work fine as long as your watch’s electronic components remain intact and don’t come in contact with any form of heat or moisture while in storage. Most people refrain from shifting to solar watches because they have certain questions in their minds. Like- are solar watches reliable? are solar watches accurate? Let’s solve this curiosity of yours in the following para.
Also Read: What is Pulsar Solar Watch?
Are Solar Watches Reliable? Are Solar Watches Accurate?
A solar watch has similar features to that of a Quartz watch but the former is recharged with light. Solar watches are one of the most reliable timepieces in the present time. Once their dial is exposed to natural or artificial light they begin to charge. The excess energy produced is further stored in lithium-ion batteries.
These batteries help the watch work well even in dark or even when no reliable light source is present. The solar watches are working 24 hours every day. Their lithium-ion batteries can also store energy for nearly 10 years before needing any replacement. Because of this, you have about 10 years of accurate time-telling. It’s a feature you can’t find in your regular quartz watch.
Regular watches become less accurate when their power is insufficient. However, solar watches prevent this inaccuracy or drop-in-time with a reliable light source and charging while in use. So, a solar watch will only run out on rare occasions. Additionally, most such watches come with a backup battery for such occasions. Even if lithium batteries aren’t exposed to sunlight in a light, they will still be able to supply sufficient power to run the watch for a few months.
To make your solar watches last longer, proper care and maintenance are very necessary. The lifetime of your watch is also based on its quality. Cheaper solar watches may not perform as well as the more valuable watches produced by reputed companies. But solar watches are indeed very accurate and reliable. Now that you have found answers to are solar watches reliable and are solar watches accurate, let’s move toward the next important question.
How Long Does it Take to Charge a Solar-Powered Watch?
Knowing the total time to charge a solar-powered watch is as important as knowing how does solar watch work. Apart from knowing are solar watches reliable or are solar watches accurate? The lifetime of a solar watch is an important factor one considers before shifting to a solar-powered watch. Ideally, a solar-powered watch takes about a whole day fully charge. Nowadays, a lot of brands are designing their watches in a way that they can charge within a few hours under direct sunlight with high intensity. Charging with direct sunlight for a few minutes is sufficient to power your watch for a whole day.
Depending on the watch’s quality, brand, and capacity, the charge time of the watch may differ. For knowing the charge time of your solar watch, look for the charging guide available in the owner’s manual of the watch. This will tell you about the charging duration of the watch under different light intensities as well as battery life. Some watches even come with an indicator to indicate the charge levels.
A variety of light sources can be used to charge solar watches. It might even take longer to reach total capacity under some light sources. For instance, with LED lamps, it might take almost around 150 hours to charge solar watches. But it isn’t always advisable and lamps with smaller lux blub as safe and even charge solar watches better. Additionally, you should always place your watch approximately 20 inches away from the lamp with the dial turned towards the light. This prevents your watch from any damage due to the LED light.
Can You Overcharge a Solar-Powered Watch?
Yes, solar watches can be overcharged. However, mostly these watches are equipped with a protection mechanism that prevents them from overcharging. Due to this mechanism, the batteries stop charging or charge at a slower pace once they reach maximum charge. This feature also prevents the lithium-ion battery from damage.
The solar watches are usually under direct sunlight or other illumination forms that hit the solar cells and automatically activate their charging. If the battery overcharges, the limitations set in the watch disconnect the system and there is no overflow of electronics to the watch. The batteries need to have a proper strategy to regulate energy flow to the watch.
What are the Pros and Cons of Solar Powered Watches?
The pros and cons of solar-powered watches are-
Can a Solar Watch Stop Working?
There can be a variety of reasons why your solar watch can stop working. The other parts of your watch will stop functioning if the solar cell becomes damaged. Your solar watch’s battery might be worn out or damaged. The watch might not even be getting enough light. Moisture can also damage your watch.
If your watch automatically stops working it could be due to a lack of light. To troubleshoot this, first put the watch under direct sunlight for a day or more. If it still doesn’t work, the fault must lie with the battery, it may be damaged and needs to be replaced.
If your watch has been exposed to moisture, it could rust the battery and this would further lead to a chemical release which can spread and cause the watch to stop. In such a situation, you need to take out the batteries and dry them under direct sunlight. If this also doesn’t work, reach out to your watchmaker and get replacement batteries.
Usually, your batteries should last close to 10 years, but if it’s been almost five or more years since you last changed your batteries, consider replacement as your first option.
Will Solar Watch Work on a Cloudy Day?
Not every day is sunny is bright, you might also need to charge your solar watch on a gloomy and cloudy day. On such days, you might even put your watch back thinking it’s impossible to charge it since there’s no sun. But don’t think so, you can still charge your solar watch on a cloudy day.
On Cloudy days, most of the sunlight is diffused and UV rays are blocked which prevents most of the sunlight from getting down. However, sunlight rays are still able to penetrate even dense clouds and reach the earth. So, it’s still possible for you to charge your watch with the little rays that reach the ground. You just need to put the watch dial in the face of the sunlight, the solar cells will immediately start producing the charge stored in the batteries. However, on cloudy days, solar cells only produce about 25 percent of their usual power, so the charging process will take longer than usual.
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