It’s a sad fact that many people throughout the world don’t have access to a reliable source of power. Fortunately, companies are recognizing the very real need for developing affordable, sustainable products that can deliver energy to places where it’s most needed. A product that is one step closer to creating cost-effective, sustainable energy is the Joos Orange personal solar device. It’s an affordable, durable, and waterproof energy source that can be charged by a USB, works in low-light conditions and claims up to 20 times more energy when compared to existing personal solar devices.

Joos (pronounced Juice) Orange has been developed by the Californian-based company, Solar Components, LLC. The device can deliver more than two and a half hours of cell phone talk time for every hour it has been charged. It can work under water, and its polycarbonate case has been encapsulated in urethane ensuring that it is rugged enough to be used outside for many years. Joos Orange has a powerful, replaceable, 20 watt hour, Lithium-ion polymer (3.7 volt, 5400mA) battery that can generate enough power to fully charge six standard cell phones or four smart phones. The unit can work with a dead battery, can provide its status to a personal computer and is expected to retail for less than US$100.

The Joos Orange is 5.8”w x 8.6”h x 0.8”d (14.7cm x 21.8cm x 2cm) and weighs 24 ounces (0.68kg). It has a steel heat sink inside the molded case to reduce heat and features both top and bottom ventilation. An automotive-grade urethane encases the solar cell and the electronics. The unit has microprocessor-based maximum power point capability and features LED status light to alert users on power production and battery status. The LED light will show red when solar energy is low.

The unit can be recharged using any USB power source and includes 2-6 adaptors (depending upon configuration) and a mini USB connector. It has a 5” (12.7cm) mono-crystalline solar cell that features an anti-reflective silicon nitride coating and a maximum power output of 2.6 watts and has legs for solar orientation. Because the cell is connected together electrically in parallel, there are no edge effects.

It is FCC A and B, CE and RoHS certified and also meets the NEMA 6P waterproofing and submergibility standard. It can operate in temperatures of -20OC (-4OF) to 60 OC (140OF) and is safe to operate in areas of high altitude.

Jamie Bullen, CEO and co-founder of Solar Components, said, “The Joos Orange is the world’s best because it uses the highest efficiency mono-crystalline solar cell on the market instead of a lower efficiency poly-crystalline cell. We use state-of-the-art electronics to stay on the maximum power point, function in low light, work with a dead battery, charge via USB and communicate with a PC. We’ve encapsulated the Joos Orange with a hard, non-yellowing urethane instead of an epoxy-based coating, and we’ve incorporated a steel heat sink and have ventilation built into a case that is also waterproof and submersible.”

The Joos Orange is expected to be available to ship in June 2010 and will retail for US$99.95. You can sign up at the Joos Orange website to be notified when it becomes available.

View gallery - 4 images