Award-winning ReNu personal solar-powered storage system
By Mick Webb
October 27, 2009
Solar power is being harnessed and applied in ever more interesting and creative ways, and the ReNu personal power generation and storage system is certainly no exception. The device features a freestanding modular solar panel that once charged, can be slotted into a number of extensions to make use of the collected energy, including an iPod dock and LED desk lamp.
A recent winner of the i-stage consumer electronics competition, the ReNu system couples a sleek, minimal design with clever looking functionality. The separate ReNu panel charges in nine hours when placed in direct sunlight or 20 hours in poorer light, and can then be used to power an iPod or iPhone dock or charger, or an LED lamp. The panel gives around eight hours of playback time, two full iPhone charges, or four hours of light, and does away with users having to expose their iPods or iPhones to direct sunlight while the charger does its work.
The interface displays the amount of energy harvested, the level remaining in reserve, as well as when it is time to expose the ReNu panel to sunlight again. The iPod dock features a USB port for syncing, and all units have an AC adapter should the sun's rays really be in scarce supply.
Manufactured by Regen, whose goal is to “change the energy equation in personal and consumer electronics”, the ReNu system can be pre-ordered from its website. Available in early 2010, the ReNu panel (US$199) and iPod dock/panel combination (US$249) are expected in February, with the LED light (US$89) and Sound dock (US$150) due in March and April respectively.