Charge Your Devices, Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With These Awesome Solar Powered Gadgets- From Forbes
‘Tis the season we start preparing the list of tech-related things we’d like to buy for ourselves and others, plus the excuses we make for buying them. All the latest tech gadgets have been announced this fall, and more will come in waves until the new year. Most tech products aren’t exactly environmentally friendly, so I compiled a list of solar-powered or solar-related gadgets for your next business trip, vacation, or for your home or office to help you offset some of the carbon emissions we all contribute by buying in to the latest tech hype.
This $80 gadget was made to make solar power more accessible to people who don’t necessarily have thousands of dollars to spend on rooftop panels. The SunPort goes into a wall outlet, and then an appliance or device is plugged into the SunPort so it can track its energy usage. SunPort turns the energy into solar by using renewable energy certificates, or S-RECs. One of these is equal to a megawatt-hour of solar energy that is put into the grid. Energy users can purchase S-RECs through utility companies. SunPort has partnered with a nonprofit, ReChoice, to purchase those certificates and break them down into “SunJoules” that give users solar credit. ReChoice commits a matching dollar to the installation of new solar panels too, so consumers are contributing to the solar scene at large. SunPort was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter earlier this year, and is available for pre-order now.
2. Waka Waka Base 5
Waka Waka has a plethora of solar devices to sell, but the latest is its Base 5, which is a solar charging pack for people on the go or who are off the grid. It has a 5,000mAh battery that charges after five to 10 hours in the sun, it can fully charge two smartphones, and has two LED lights,a 7.5 watt solar panel, and is made of recycled plastic. It runs at $159. Also, as with all Waka Waka products, if you buy one, you send one to someone in a humanitarian crisis around the world who is in need of power.
KudoSol, is a maker of one of the more well-known solar powered phone and iPad cases. The company makes iPhone and gear chargers as well. The classic iPad case has a built in solar panel that can charge to offer you up to 10 days of use, plus it has a plug that can charge an iPhone along with it. Depending on intensity of light, KudoSol cases can provide 30 minutes of iPad use for every hour of sunlight. There’s also a battery storage component built into the case to store unused power overnight. Right now, the iPad case is about $40.
4. Goal Zero
Goal Zero has a solar charger pack that comes in three sizes: compact, which charges low-power devices like phones; mid-size, which is good for laptops and DSLR cameras; and heavy-duty, which can power televisions, small refrigerators, and more. You can buy the solar panels, and charge directly from there, but the company recommends buying the battery pack to charge from because the system works more efficiently with it. Basically, you can power your devices off the grid depending on how much or how little you need to use. The solar panels start at $80, and the battery pack prices vary.
5. Solio Charger
Solio is a solar gadget company that’s been around the block a few times. They were one of the first to introduce hand-held solar chargers, and continue to improve their technology. Now, they offer solar products as well as products like speakers and headlamps that are powered by Solio chargers. The battery pack plus solar charger runs at $100 and can power smartphones, tablets, bike lights, water purifiers, and more. It has a 3200mAh capacity battery and the company states on its website that it can hold a charge for up to a year, so you can be prepared in case of emergencies.
6. Solpro Chargers
Solpro makes some of the most powerful and affordable solar powered smartphone chargers out there. The Gemini is only $39, small enough to fit in your pocket, and has a 2800mAh battery. There’s also the Helios power bank, which is about $120 and stores enough energy for a 3x charge in 4.5 hours. It has a 5,000mAh battery and can charge smartphones, tablets, and music players.