Horizon announces versatile Sunbox solar power charging system
People who are trekking in the wilderness, stranded at disaster sites or living in developing nations all have one thing in common - lack of access to an electrical infrastructure. Solar charging devices such as the Solio, iCharge and Joos Orange have been designed to meet the needs of some or all of these groups. One of the latest such systems, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies' Sunbox USB 3.0, is particularly versatile.
The Sunbox gathers solar energy through a 1.8-watt waterproof photovoltaic panel. Whenever the sun is shining, that panel automatically starts charging the power system module, via a 3-meter (9.8-foot) cable. That module incorporates a 6-volt 3,000 milliampere-hour battery, two USB ports, and an LCD screen that displays the battery's level of charge. A full charge requires 6 to 10 hours of sunlight.
A 25-LED, 2-watt lamp can be plugged into the module's top USB port, for ambient nighttime lighting. For more focused lighting, an LED spotlight with a 3-meter cord can be plugged into either port. If you need a more mobile light source, there's also a 1-watt LED flashlight head that plugs into the top port.
The power system module can additionally be used to charge mobile devices such as cell phones, most models of which should work with one of the seven adapter tips that are included. If you're trying to power a device that doesn't have a built-in battery pack (such as a radio), there's also a charging cradle that includes two rechargeable AA batteries. Should you wish to charge up the module using a source other than the sun, the system comes with a 14-volt DC charger plug.
The Sunbox USB 3.0 package is available for US$199.99, from the Horizon website.
Readers involved in foreign aid might also be interested in Horizon's entrepreneur package. It allows small businesspeople in developing nations to charge ten Sunbox battery packs at once, which can then be rented out to members of the local community.
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
A biomass converter is a charcoal burner that allows you capture and cool the smoke so you can use it to fuel a ICE engine, spark ignition is easier to set up. For a generator or other stationary engine it can be made out of mud brick.
Small water cooled engines are available from both the automotive industry, and the makers of outboard engines for boats. (granted there is a large overlap here)
Use the waste heat from the engine and fuel cooling stack to provide the heat for an absorption refrigeration plant and to provide hot water.
The engine, generator, and refrigeration plant should cost less than a thousand dollars and produce enough electricity to light every hut in the village with power to spare for other uses.
In all fairness, I tend to think \"industrial\". Using livestock to power a small generator would be cheaper, and if you don\'t use a milk cow or such (too much physical activity reduces milk production in cattle at least) there is almost no down side. Especially if the critter in question is a sheep raised for wool, or cattle owned as cash.