By Jody McCutcheon
Here’s an interesting stat: The energy required yearly to charge the world’s mobile devices is equivalent to the annual energy needs of about 1.5 million US households. What if we could save some or even all of that energy?
Hello, SolarGami. Many existing solar chargers aren’t big enough to maximize the sun’s power offerings, or else they’re plenty big enough yet too cumbersome to be portable. But Giga Solar FPC’s portable solar charger is large enough to outdo competitors in terms of length of charging time, depth of battery charge, and number of devices that can be charged at once.
How does the sizeable SolarGami achieve its portability? The secret lies in its name: SolarGami equals Solar + Origami. That’s right. The large solar charger folds up into a much smaller unit you carry to your destination, whether it’s your backyard or somewhere more off the grid, like camping, hiking, et cetera. It’s designed to charge your devices at the same speed as a wall outlet does. And it offers four USB ports, allowing multiple devices to be charged at once.
In peak sun conditions, the SolarGami can be fully charged in a couple of hours. The standard-size battery stores up to 46WH (watt hours) of energy, and the charger generates 25W of electricity. At full power, it theoretically could charge your phone four to seven times, or provide a charge of 10-plus hours for a tablet. Need even more juice? A second battery option stores 92WH, or double the power.
SolarGami is constructed from a durable, temperature-resistant, super-lightweight material made from recycled PET bottles. The panels are made of high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells. The charger measures just 8” x 11”, with a folded-up thickness of 1.5”, and it weights from 1.6–1.9kg, depending on the battery option. It’s easily storable and packable, perfect for construction sites, camping or other short-term projects, as well as homes.
Unfortunately, Giga Solar’s Kickstarter campaign fell far short of its expected goal, yet the founders will continue to try to fund this brilliant idea. And why not? The concept proves that simple, cheap solar power is possible, and considering its huge potential for energy savings, SolarGami is a project worth fighting for.