Gallery: ASK A TECH GEEK: How Can I Charge My Gadgets With Renewable En...


Voltaic Generator Bag

If you’re on the hunt for an all-in-one charging solution with enough juice to power a laptop, then look no further than the Voltaic Generator Bag. This durable waterproof case is emblazoned with a 15-watt solar panel that can produce a peak output of 20 volts. A single hour of solar exposure will yield between 12 and 45 minutes of laptop runtime (depending on your computer), and the built-in battery pack will be fully charged after 5 hours in the sun.

$500 from Voltaic

nPower PEG

The problem with portable solar chargers is that they need to be exposed to the sun in order to work – which makes generating electricity on-the-go a challenge. Enter the nPower PEG – a kinetic energy generator that harvests energy from your movements as you go from place to place. Simply drop the nPower PEG into a backpack or satchel and then go on a hike, a run, or ride your bike – the device will convert your energy into electricity that can be used to charge your cell phone, MP3 player, or camera.

$160 from nPower PEG

K3 Wind and Solar Charger

Why settle for solar or wind power when you can have them both at the same time? That’s the idea behind the K3 Charge – a portable power source that taps the sun’s rays and the prevailing winds to give your gadgets a jolt of juice. Whether you’re off the beaten path or just hanging out in your backyard, it’s perfect for powering MP3 players, cameras, GPS units, or cell phones.

$75 from Amazon

Powerfilm Rollable Solar Charger

If you’re looking for a flexible solution to generating renewable energy, the rollable Powerfilm Solar Array has you covered. This lightweight photovoltaic panel packs down to a compact parcel that can be unfurled at a whim to maximize solar exposure. A 5-watt, 5.4 volt array of monolithically integrated thin film panels provites the perfect amount of juice for charging practically any handheld gadget – from phones and game systems to cameras and MP3 players.

$120 from the Inhabitat Shop

Pedal Power Bicycle Generator

If you happen to be a bike-rider and you want to get the most clean energy for your buck then consider investing in a pedal-powered bicycle generator. This robust system harvests energy from pedaling your bicycle to generate a serious amount of wattage – you can produce enough energy to power a desktop computer, a mini microwave, a blender, or even a PA system!

$400 and up from

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  1. globallyconscious July 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    the voltaic bag works great. i’ve had one for a couple of months now and i put it by the window of my office while i work. charges like a charm!

  2. energynerd July 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Does that power peg thing work by shaking it? the design is a bit perplexing.

  3. renewability July 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    i used one of those roll-away chargers during my time in the peace corp! the sunshine was definitely ample in mali, but it charged all my electronics!

  4. solarlizzard July 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    i’m totally putting my husband to work on that bike generator. he could use a few lbs, and i would love nothing more than to watch television powered by his weight loss. awesome!

  5. Nathaniel Ross July 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    LOVE the nPower PEG idea. People forget that we’re walking energy sources and this product makes use of that! Well done, and great reporting!

  6. Beth July 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I want the pedal bike in toddler size so my daughter can burn off some steam while revving up my laptop!

  7. gettincouscous July 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    i haven’t had much luck with wind-charging devices. i bought the hymini and it didn’t work very well at all.

  8. justsomecmtr July 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    i wish there was a way of pumping the electricity you make on the bike into the grid, then just get free energy later

  9. technogreenie July 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I’m bringing that K3 charger on my next camping trip!

  10. gardengnome62 July 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    what a great way to put my morning bike ride to good use! i’m going to get that bike generator!

  11. surfzb July 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    the npower peg is one of the coolest ideas i’ve ever heard of

  12. Brit Liggett July 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Swooning over the wind and solar charger. That thing is rad!

  13. Jessica Dailey July 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I love that nPower Peg charger! So useful and convenient. Definitely going on my wish list…

  14. rainbowchard July 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Great ideas here – I had no idea a bike charger could power a microwave.

  15. abeabeington July 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I wonder about the durability of the rollable charger…

  16. Bennita July 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I like how the nPower Peg makes you work for your power – in a good way!

  17. Jill Fehrenbacher July 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Great list Pete! Nice going. I totally want to check out the nPower Peg!

  18. Diane Pham July 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    the pedal power bike is amazing!

  19. fangmcgee July 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    The bicycle generator is on my wish list!

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