I love being outdoors, and camping is at the top of my list of things to do. I’m not talking about going to an air conditioned cabin, with electricity and all of the amenities. No, I’m talking about primitive camping in a tent, truly roughing it. The problem is, I still want to be able to enjoy the music on my iPhone and have people able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency. Battery packs only last so long, so you need a good way to recharge your device from solar energy. That’s where Solar Paper can come into play.
Harnessing the power of the sun
Solar Paper is advertised as the world’s thinnest and lightest solar charger, weighing only 4 ounces and measuring 7.5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide, and a mere 0.15 inch thick when folded. Unfolded to charge your iPhone, Solar Paper is 7 inches wide and puts out 5 watts of energy, which can fully charge an iPhone 6 in about 2.5 hours.
My first concern when I heard about Solar Paper was the effect of shadows and artificial light. In my experience many solar panels are useless in shade or indoors, and you have to detach your device and then plug it back in. Solar Paper, on the other hand, is programmed to automatically reset and start charging again when it has enough sunlight. This should make Solar Paper a more efficient and stable power source for your device.
Portable, sustainable charging
What Solar Paper means, if it works as advertised, is that you get the sun-powered equivalent of a wall charger that’s small enough to fit inside a notebook.
It has a USB port, an LCD readout that displays the power output, and embedded magnets to allow you to attach the solar charger to metal objects. The accessory also has lanyard holes, allowing you to lash the charger to your backpack.
How you can get Solar Paper
Solar Paper is currently being funded on Kickstarter, and is expected to begin shipping in September 2015. It will be available in four sizes, from 2.5 watts to 10 watts, allowing various combinations of the Solar Paper to be used to power everything from an iPhone 6 Plus to an iPad. As of the time of this writing, Solar Paper had received more than $41,000 of the $50,000 goal to fund the project, with 43 days left in the campaign.
Image credit: Wikipedia