August 3, 2005 Thanks to the proliferation of handheld devices, the population’s battery addiction is growing at an alarming rate while we await fuel cells or some other way of keeping our MP3s, handhelds and PVRs working within our lifestyle needs. Rechargeable batteries make a lot of sense in the meantime, and now a new fold-up solar charger might make life a little easier for at least some of us. The PowerFilm AA Foldable solar charger is ultra lightweight, thin, and recharges batteries in a highly effective manner in varying sunlight conditions while optimising charging time and protecting batteries from over-charging. It recharges 2 AA rechargeable (NiMH or NiCad) batteries in four hours or four batteries in eight hours, weighs less than 4 extra batteries and folds to pocket size. The military version is already on the market and reportedly a big favourite with soldiers in remote locations.
"Unlike other solar chargers for AA batteries, this new charging circuit does not get confused from variations in current typically seen from a solar panel, said Frank Jeffrey, Chairman of PowerFilm Solar's parent company Iowa Thin Film Technologies.
A military version of the charger is being marketed by PowerFilm Solar. The company is partnering with Johnson Outdoors to market a commercial version.
Once unfolded, this charger automatically begins charging. The charging lights confirm if the batteries are charging or fully charged.