Solar Paper turns the page on portable solar chargers
While there's a healthy selection of compact solar panels to keep our mobile gadgets charged up – light permitting – the vast majority of these are either toosmall to be effective or too bulky for carting around. The creators of SolarPaper are looking to buck this trend with a portable solar charger that generatesup to 10 W of power, yet is lighter than an iPhone 6 Plus and only slightlywider and longer.
So called because its panels are thing enough to slot between the pages of a notebook, and touted as the "world's thinnest and lightest solar charger" byits creators, Yolk, Solar Paper measures 9 x 19 x 1.1 cm (3.5 x 7.5 x 0.4 in)and weighs 120 g (4.2 oz), while the actual solar panels are only 1.5 mm thick.
But Solar Paper has more going for it than just its form factor. Unlike most solarchargers on the market, it features modular panels that connect via embedded magnets. If you want more power, you can connect up to four panelstogether. Each individual panel generates a maximum of 2.5 W of power, so fourwill provide up to 10 W via USB. On a sunny day, that's just as good as a 5V/2Awall charger.
Solar Paper also has some built-in smarts to help users get themost out of it. To avoid the hassle of manual restarting when the availablelight drops, as is the case with most competing solar chargers, Solar Paper hasbeen programmed to automatically resume charging when it detects sufficientsunlight. So when that cloud passes overhead, you won't have to intervene.
There'salso a built-in LCD screen that displays the current being delivered to aconnected device. This is useful to understand how weather, angle of inclination,and orientation to the sun affect the charge rate, so you can easily set it up inthe best position.
Add in water resistance and grommet holes forutility/attachment options, and it's easy to understand why so many have pledgedtheir support to the device's Kickstarter campaign, with it shooting past its US$50,000 goalin just the first two days. If all goes as planned, the project creatorsanticipate the first batch will ship in September 2015, with the second batchfollowing in either October or November. Pledges range from $69 for a 5 W SolarPaper, all the way to $450 for a set of four 10 W Solar Paper.
The team's video pitch can be viewed below.