New solar charger packs lots of power for its size

New solar charger packs lots of power for its size
PHOTO: Kickstarter

There is no lack of sunlight in Singapore, making it perfect to go green by harnessing solar power for your mobile devices.

One Kickstarter project - Solar Paper - does just that and has exceeded its funding goal by over 10 times with the help of some 4,000 backers.

With still nearly a month left to go before the funding deadline of Aug 20, the project has amassed at least US$598,000 (S$817,000), far more than the goal of US$50,000.

Solar Paper is a portable solar-powered charger with an impressive power output for its size.

At 120g, 1.1cm thick and slightly larger than an iPhone 6 Plus, the 5W charger's size and weight are a mere fraction of the SunVolt's, a similar crowdfunded portable solar charger with a similar price. Each of Solar Paper's panels is thin enough to be tucked away in a planner or book.

The product comes in three variants with different wattage outputs: 5W, 7.5W and 10W, with two, three or four panels respectively. The 5W version is powerful enough to charge an iPhone 6 in 21/2 hours.

Solar Paper comes with only one charging port, and it is compatible with devices that use USB cables for charging, such as cameras. The makers recommend the 10W version for tablet owners.

The panels automatically resume charging whenever sufficient sunlight is available after cloudy interruptions. They are also splash resistant and the wattage of Solar Paper can be increased by adding solar panels. The panels connect to each other using built-in magnets, which prevent wear and tear commonly found in foldable accessories.

Yolk, the start-up behind Solar Paper, was founded by SungWon Chang, a Design Object graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Solar Paper is a follow-up to a previous solar charger from Ms Chang and her team, last year's Solarade.

A 10W Solar Paper device is expected to retail at US$200, without taking the campaign offers into account. Solar Paper will begin shipping as early as September.

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