|What cool things could you create with this Solar Pocket Kit?|
Have you ever bought a solar powered gadget only to have it fail in about a year? We have dozens of defunct solar yard lights that worked well for a few weeks or month, but are now just junk. Either the electronics have rusted, the epoxy coating the solar panel has yellowed and clouded over or the rechargeable batteries have failed.
|The epoxy coating has clouded over.|
|The epoxy has cracked from age
and being in the sun.
Unfortunately, very little has changed in the past ten years on how small solar panels (the type to power a few LEDs on a walkway light) except that they are cheaper, both in their cost and their quality. They are made in Chinese sweat shops and soldered by hand thus having huge failure rates. The factories end up throwing away a lot of broken Silicon cells. Two young inventors think they can change that and need your help.
We are Shawn Frayne and Alex Hornstein, two independent inventors who fell in love with the dream of clean energy, everywhere, for everyone. Inspired by this dream, we built a half-dozen products based on microsolar panels, like solar lights and distributed USB power grids, but in the process, we learned that the current solar panels leave a lot to be desired: the panels break after a few years, they’re expensive, and they’re not made very well. We loved the possibilities that microsolar offered, and we kept asking ourselves, “Could we make it better?”
Be sure to watch the video and if you are as inspired as I am, or even if you just think it is totally cool, become a backer of the project on Kickstarter. Also be sure to check out the really cool Instructables they have on:
- Turn a playing card into a solar charger for AA batteries
- Solar powered arduino on the back of a playing card
- SPF DIY: the Fanned Light : A Solar Light from Scratch in 10 Minutes Flat
- Solar 7-up: Solar phone charger in a bottle
If Shawn and Alex are successful with their Solar Pocket Factory, they will revolutionize the micro-solar industry, reducing the cost, reducing the waste (both in the factories and post consumer failures) and make solar even more accessible. Maybe they will even destroy the disposable battery.