Portable energy storage devices, and particularly these that integrate some sort of solar panel in them, have been around for quite some time. There are numerous models, coming in all shapes and sizes, suitable to power every little (or big) gadget there is. But since that initial hype faded away, not much innovation has been happening. The batteries might have become somewhat bigger, and the panels might have become a tad smaller, but the design and the concept have remained pretty much constant.
A new kid on the block, however, might have what it takes to change this. Meet HeLi-on, the folding device,which contains polymer solar cells printed onto a plastic foil. These can be rolled into a tiny tube shape for a compact and very convenient storage. The foil, with the panels on it, is just under 1mm thick, and when rolled, the little device measures just 4.4 x 1.4 x 1.1 in (11.3 x 3.6 x 2.8 cm) and weighs the minimal 3.7 oz (105 g).
Now for the rest of the characteristics. The solar cells integrated into HeLi-on can generate up to 3W of power, given that the conditions are suitable. The device has a 2,600 mAh battery, which can store this power. It also has an USB port, which allows rapid charging of electronic devices. The only thing that is not yet entirely decided is the length of the panels in the final product, but in any case, it will be made perfectly suitable for using outdoors. The guys behind it, a team from the Danish startup infinityPV, also say that it is easy to clean and maintain.
HeLi-on is currently on Kickstarter, gathering funds. You can get one in either blue, white or black, for US$100. If you’re interested, hurry up. Just 20 days to go until the end of the campaign.
Image (C) infinityPV