Foglio's Field Notes

Leif Utne's random rants, musings and meditations

On the 10th day of Christmas my brother gave to me…

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Voltaic solar battery-charging backpackI arrived home on Sunday to find the coolest, geekiest Christmas present I’ve ever gotten: a Voltaic Converter solar daypack. I try not to be too covetous of material things. But this is one I’ve had my eye on for awhile. (Thanks, Sam! You’re the best.)

Its sleek black fabric is made of 100% recycled PET (soda bottles). It has three PV panels sewn into the back panel, which can output up to 10 volts in peak conditions, though normal output is 4 volts. A red LED in the middle of the logo indicates when it’s charging, which so far seems to be whenever there’s even minimal light. It came with a battery pack and 11 different standard tips, so it can charge most handheld electronic devices.

Around the city, it’ll probably be mostly a sort of eco-geek status symbol. I can’t wait to roll up on my bike at next month’s Green Drinks with this on my back.

But I can definitely picture situations where it’ll be useful when I really am off the grid — like when I’m hiking and I need to keep an extra pair of rechargeable AA batteries at the ready to power a camera or flashlight. And I imagine it’ll come in very handy when we’re on the beach in the Dominican Republic next month and keep running down the batteries in our portable blender.

I have yet to actually try charging anything with it. Will post more when I do.

Written by leifutne

January 6, 2009 at 2:11 am

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