Cell phones have made our lives incredibly convenient (can you remember not having one?), but when we are stuck out and about with a dead battery, it can feel like the end of the world. Luckily, a new solar panel cell phone charging system by Nokero can fully charge a dead phone in about one and a half hours, using only the sun. The low cost panels can juice up a phone when there is no outlet in sight.
Nokero designed the panels initially to be used by impoverished villages around the globe that have little access to electricity (although they surprisingly have cell phones). In fact, 500 million cell phone users live in households without electricity! To charge their phones, some must travel to charging hubs, often paying $5 to charge their phones (it costs about 10 to 20 cents worth of electricity to charge a phone at home). In turn, these charging stations use fuel-guzzling generators to operate. The whole process is expensive for cell phone users, and also pollutse their local air.
Nokero’s solar charging panel is the first truly affordable one of its kind that is powerful enough to charge cell phones (but not smart phones). Available in 1-watt and 2-watt versions, they can charge a phone in 1.5-3 hours. The battery free panels are made from high-temperature plastics and the durable panels have a life of 5-10 years.
Nokero chargers are currently available online in sample-only prices, at $29 and $49. A benefit to all eco-conscious cell phone users, the purchase of Nokero’s chargers by urban customers would increase demand, and potentially drive prices even lower for the intended off-grid impoverished cell phone users.