Do Solar Welding Helmets Have Batteries?

The sun happens to be the source of power for these solar-powered welding helmets, as it charges itself when exposed to the sun, giving them an unlimited amount of energy. But do such helmets run without any batteries?

The answer is yes and no – there are solar-powered welding helmets, and there are solar-battery-powered welding helmets. The former uses the sun and UV rays from the welding arc to charge its photovoltaic cells for its energy. Whereas, the latter uses both solar energy and batteries to function.

The batteries are rechargeable and they do not use any external power source to charge but instead use solar power to charge itself which is stored in the photovoltaic cells. 

In this article, we have discussed more on solar-powered welding helmets and solar battery-powered welding helmets. So, read on to find out more!

Do Solar Welding Helmets Have Batteries

How to charge a solar-powered welding helmet? 

For a welding helmet to be effective for a welder, it needs to be able to have the darkening effect, and for this to happen the helmet needs a power source.

When it comes to solar-powered welding helmets, they get their power source from the sun. There are photovoltaic cells or solar panels on top of the helmet which catch the sunlight to charge the helmet.

They do not need to be connected to any electrical power source to be charged. So the more you work outdoors when it’s nice and sunny, the more your helmet gets charged and that energy is stored to be used even later when you are no longer working outdoors.

These helmets have rechargeable batteries inside which also get charged with sunlight. And apart from that they also can harness the power from the UV rays generated from the welding arcs.

Technically, your helmet is charged up throughout the day without having to worry about running out of power. This saves you a lot of money on having to replace batteries constantly and also saves electricity. And you do not have to wait for your helmet to be fully charged before you can start using it again.

Pros and cons of solar-powered welding helmets

There are quite a few advantages and disadvantages to using a solar-powered welding helmet, which we will be discussing in this section.

The Pros

1.) Due to their great battery life and functionality, these helmets are widely popular among welders, whether you are a professional or a beginner in the field.

2.) The helmets use rechargeable batteries that can be charged with sunlight, so it is perfect for people working in places with a lot of sunlight. You will be charging the helmet while working as there is no need to charge it with electricity.

3.) If there is no sunlight where you work or you are working indoors, the helmet will still be charging itself with the help of the welding arc rays as it harnesses its energy and power from it.

4.) The batteries used for solar-powered helmets are not expensive to replace once damaged. They can be changed instantly without hassle while you continue working.

5.) Other types of welding helmets use lithium batteries, but in the case of solar-powered helmets, AAA batteries are used which are much easier to find and are not expensive. This makes it an economical option for welders.

6.) Battery life is extremely long due to these functions. You are charging them on the go as you work, without having to stop and put their charge. So technically, you get unlimited battery life as they do not wear out that quickly.

7.) There is an automatic on/off feature which helps save the life of the batteries. It can detect the welding arc and turn it on automatically. Similarly, when it is not in use the helmet turns itself off.

8.) Such helmets are much lighter comparatively due to the lesser controls on them. This makes it very convenient and easy for the welder to work without being weighed down by the weight of the helmet.

9.) These helmets are considered to be very flexible because you can work with them both indoors and outdoors without any worry.

Lightweight means you won’t feel too hot when working outdoors while it is also charging itself with the sun rays. And when indoors it is charging with the UV rays generated from welding. 

The cons

1.) Despite being lightweight, solar-powered helmets are much larger compared to battery-powered helmets because the solar panels take up space to be fitted in the helmet. Therefore, some of these helmets can turn out to be heavier than the latter.

2.) Some solar-powered helmet models do not give you the alternative to change or replace the batteries once damaged or otherwise. They are in-built which can be problematic.

3.) Lithium batteries are used in some models of solar-powered helmets, which are expensive compared to AAA batteries and also not very easy to find.

4.) Reports have shown that a few models of the solar-powered helmets stopped working properly mid-work despite being charged several times.

5.) When charging the batteries using solar power, it does take some time to charge them fully.

6.) There are a few models of such helmets which do not give you the long life span as promised.

7.) If you get an old model of the solar-powered helmet then there is a possibility that it will come with a built-in non-rechargeable battery, which does not have a very long lifespan.

8.) They are slightly more expensive than the battery-powered welding helmet.

Why do you need a Welding Helmet?

Welding as we all know is considered to be one of the more hazardous occupations. A welder is working with fire, and flames throughout his or her working hours.

And unfortunately, if you are not very careful while welding, you are bound to hurt yourself physically and internally. There is a high amount of UV and infrared radiation, extreme light, and a lot of spatter that a welder is exposed to throughout.

Therefore, wearing appropriate safety gear is vital for a welder. A welding helmet is the most important piece of gear in this case as your face and eyes are exposed to all of those toxic elements.

One of the most crucial features in a welding helmet is, therefore, the auto-darkening feature. It is the viewing lens or filter that is made of a special kind of dark tinted glass, and whenever it detects a welding arc, it becomes darker to protect your eyes.

Now, for the helmet to be able to do this it needs some amount of energy that is sourced from power like batteries. These batteries once they run out of power, need to be replaced by a new set. This may become inconvenient when working, which is why manufacturers came up with solar-powered welding helmets.

Do you need a solar-powered welding helmet?

If you are still wondering whether a solar-powered welding helmet is really necessary for you as a welder, you simply need to remember three very important things here –

Firstly, a solar-powered helmet is very convenient when compared to a battery-powered helmet. You will never have to look for a power socket to charge your helmet.

It will charge itself using sunlight and the UV rays of welding arcs. What could be more convenient than this for a busy welder?

Secondly, going for a solar-powered welding helmet is a more environment-friendly option as it does not use the limited resources of the planet.

But instead uses solar power to get its energy to be able to function effectively. For any environment-friendly person, nothing would make more sense than this, you are saving the ecology and the planet.

Thirdly, you need to protect yourself from the harmful infrared and UV rays that are produced while welding. Even the fumes, flames, and debris can cause problems to your health.

Solar-powered helmets come with photovoltaic cells, which enable auto-darkening in the helmet. This is required for every welder to be able to safeguard oneself from the harmful flames and everything that follows. 

Solar-powered VS battery-powered welding helmets – which is better?

If you ask me to choose between a solar-powered and battery-powered welding helmet, I would most certainly go with the former type. Mainly because of how convenient they are to charge.

It is not time-consuming and saves you the hassle of having to look for an external power source to connect to every time for charging.

This happens to be the case with a battery-powered helmet. This can be a problem when you are in the middle of work and your battery starts to run out of power.

Another, point to note here is that lithium batteries are mainly used for battery-powered helmets. Such batteries as mentioned above are quite expensive and difficult to replace.

Also, they are bulkier than solar-powered helmets, which can be an uncomfortable experience on the job.

However, both types of helmets have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered when choosing a welding helmet. At the end of the day, it should be suitable for the job at hand.

Wrapping up

Solar-powered helmets that also use rechargeable batteries are an advanced version of welding helmets, which has made work easier for welders.

The main focus here is to protect yourself at all costs when welding because the harmful elements that are generated while working are lethal for your health.

Your eyes are the most vulnerable in this case, which is why wearing a good quality helmet is extremely necessary.

Never go for a cheaper helmet that will not serve the purpose well of shielding you from all the toxic components.

Such helmets do tend to wear out sooner than you would like, therefore, always read the labels well to pick the right helmet without compromising on the quality.

Steve Goodman
Experienced welder with 7+ years of expertise in all the latest welding techniques MIG, flux and stick welding, drill press, crane operation and metal fabrication. Welding certificate course graduate and 2018 Excellence in Welding award winner.

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