SunVolt solar charger claims "outlet-like" charging times
August 22, 2012
SunVolt is a portable solar power station able to harness the Sun's rays in order to charge low-power mobile electronic devices, such as digital cameras, e-book readers, cell-phones and tablets. While you'd be forgiven for feeling underwhelmed on hearing news of yet another solar charger in the works, the crucial difference between SunVolt and existing solar chargers like the Solarmonkey and EnerPlex, is that SunVolt’s creator Don Cayelli claims his product can, on a clear day, charge multiple devices just as quickly as if they were plugged into the wall.
SunVolt’s panels are based on efficient monocrystalline photovoltaic technology and designed to offer the optimal compromise between size and charging performance. SunVolt appears to be quite sturdy and this impression is backed-up by the lifetime warranty offered with the device. The case’s outer shell is made from high quality ballistic nylon to lend a water resistant surface to the device. It also features a pocket to store your charging gadgets safely out of the Sun's reach.
When zipped-up, SunVolt resembles a thin notebook computer case. In order to begin charging, one must simply unzip and angle the charger correctly in order to catch the maximum solar coverage possible. Four neoprene non-slip pads are attached to the back of the case exterior to help keep it in place.
SunVolt is offered in two versions: 15 W and 10 W. The 15 W unit measures 17.5 x 11.5 x 1.5 inches (44.5 x 29.2 x 3.8 cm) and comes with three available charging ports, whereas the 10 W iteration is 13 x 11.5 x 1.5 inches (33 x 29.2 x 3.8 cm) and sports two charging ports. Both models of SunVolt will also feature a pair of USB charging slots, in addition to Micro-USB and Mini-USB sockets, while less common adapters will eventually become available for purchase.
Assuming it does indeed work as advertised, SunVolt could be a real boon for campers, hikers and other people who regularly end up way off the grid. Alas, the 5.5 V which the SunVolt generates is not be sufficient to keep a laptop topped-up with juice. However, plans for the SunVolt include a trickle-charger for replenishing car batteries and a model which makes use of an internal battery to store excess energy for nighttime use.
At present, SunVolt is just over halfway to meeting its Kickstarter goal of US$30,000 with 22 days of the campaign left. There are several pledges available if you'd like to get your hands on a SunVolt, the cheapest being $85 for the 10 W version, which will eventually retail for $110. International shipping is available.
The promo video below explains the SunVolt in further detail.