This is the final installment of our Ask A Tech Geek Series where renowned gadget expert Peter Rojas from gadget Q&A site GDGT.com answers your questions about green technology. Read on for this week’s eco-tech advice!
QUESTION: Is there a device to recharge all my gadgets using renewable energy?
- submitted by Denis Caissy
Yes, there are actually a handful of different options out there, most of which won't just let you tap into a renewable resource like wind or the sun to charge your gadgets, they'll also help you keep topped up while on the go. Just keep in mind that it can take a long time to charge gadgets this way. Prices and portability vary, but here are a few of your choices:
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
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
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
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
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 PedalPowerGenerater.com
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