New gadget lets people charge mobile devices with the sun

SunLeaf Pro can charge iPhone in four hours using solarAs the holidays approach, one new company has released a solar charging device for gadgets like iPads, MP3 players and e-readers.

SunLeaf announced the launch of its new SunLeaf Pro, a USB-based device compatible with most electronics that folds to an eighth of its size and is extremely portable.

The SunLeaf can fully charge an iPhone in under four hours or deliver a half charge to an iPad in the same time, according to a release about the product.

“It was designed with backpackers and outdoors enthusiasts in mind, people who would be spending extended periods of time away from a power source,” SunLeaf company owner Lucas Westlie said. “Urban use at businesses, apartments and homes is also a target market for use, but not nearly as much as our outdoor market.”

Westlie said the system, which is built on six inter-linked, 3-volt monocrystalline solar panels, is currently available for sale on the SunLeaf Web site and nowhere else. It’s connected to a USB voltage controller that allows for the universal charging of all USB devices.

Westlie is selling the solar charger for $179.

“The SunLeaf has been very popular with arctic expedition teams and others who are visiting very remote and extreme climates for extended periods of time, where multiple battery packs are not a feasible option,” Westlie said.

But the charger also has practical applications for those who aren’t taking massive expeditions or planning extended stays away from civilization, Westlie said.

“The portability and popularity of gadgets has really created a real demand for portable power,” he said. “More so, people are becoming increasingly aware of their individual impact on the environment, and we feel that they are looking for anyway in which they can minimize their negative impact on the environment.”
 

 

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