Solofy: Charge Quickly via Solar Power, Without Compromise
Forget previous limits & power any USB device at the same rate as a wall charger (2A) but via clean solar energy straight from the sun!
I wanted a lightweight Solar backpack to take with during days when I would require a recharge halfway in the day. None of what I found fully satisfied the requirements for an independent solar solution. Most backpacks were either laptop bags yet didn't even have the power to charge a smart phone, let alone a tablet or the laptop housed inside. Poor bulky design also plagued my search, these offerings utilise a single solar panel that covers just a fraction of the backpacks surface area. This is a failure in capitalising on the real-estate and potential for more power with additional solar panel installation. Most solar backpacks are heavy & expensive yet do not offer more than 4 Watts of power. Solofy Mesh One is affordable, lightweight yet capable of charging any USB device at the same rate as a wall charger would.
I wanted something that could eliminate my need for the wall. Not because I hate the seemingly reliable power that comes out from the wall sockets or because of my Eco-Friendly mentality disapproves of our heavy dependance on fossil fuelled power, simply because I didn’t want to incorporate multiple hours of a day sitting next to a wall outlet just to keep my device charged. While most devices claim all day battery life, with excessive use of GPS, data and media functionality I find myself needing a charge at the most inconvenient times. Many of us challenge this limitation by going into airplane mode and lowering the screen brightness. this temporary fix helps keep the vice on standby until reaching a wall plug. but is not the solution. The long-term answer being independent power provided by solar power. This solution when done right requires no ties or restrictions. Be free to explore, anywhere, while charging quickly and efficiently. regardless of being on the beach, a boat or camping.
I started brainstorming about the feasibility of a solar backpack revolution, what would be needed before such a movement could become successful. The answer: low cost, high power and most importantly, convenience. Having to worry about whether the device is charging, or if such a solar device was angled properly at the sun wasn't the way to entice mobile device users to consider a self sustaining solution. Throughout the year I devoted time to coming up with an answer that didn’t compromise on efficiency or power yet was affordable enough that all nature enthusiasts could utilise the product to keep their devices going, no matter where they may venture to.
Power & Efficiency
iPad Air 2 charge time from competing solar backpacks, none of which produce as much power as Solofy Mesh One
- 600mAh (3 Watts) will take 14 hours (so two days since a typical day has 8 hours of sunlight)
- 900mAh (4 Watts) will take 9 hours (A day and then some)
- 1000mAh (1A) (5 Watts) will take 8 hours (A full days worth of perfect sunshine, without clouds)
- 2000mAh (2A) (10 Watts) will take just 4 hours of sunlight (with Solofy Mesh One, you could actually disown wall outlets and exclusively charge your iPad via clean solar energy)
Solofy Mesh One allows continued charging even in non ideal conditions such as cloudy weather since it is capable of producing twice the power required to charge an iOS Device. This leaves room for scattered sunshine and low performing circumstances.
The goal was to create a lightweight, foldable backpack with a low profile and a unique design, focusing on simplicity yet providing function. Something that incorporates easily into everyday use without requiring attention or concern. Solofy Mesh One is built for adventure, it handles weather very well and provides the required power to sustain the recharging needs of iPads, iPhones and any other USB chargeable device. The limitations of previous solar backpacks do not apply as Solofy Mesh One aims to provide a no compromise solution. Charge quick and efficiently while securing devices in the water resistant tough mesh fabric, inside its 12L capacity.
Please share your thoughts about the design, what would you like to see in the finalised product, is there anything you dislike? Now is the time to change what you see!
Instead of relying on fossil fuelled power that travels hundreds of miles to get to your wall socket and then into the required devices. forgo the polluting power of the wall. Solar power is an excellent alternative to generate power, especially when it comes to low energy charging, such as mobile devices. Typically these gadgets charge via a USB port from a computer or dedicated USB wall charger. While our handhelds are power hungry, they do not require large and heavy solar equipment to keep recharged via solar power. This is why Solofy Mesh One is a viable way to keep gadgets going, a lightweight, water resistant, everyday backpack with sleek style and function. It can recharge USB devices just as quickly as any other charging solution as the limiting factors of solar power have been eliminated, speed of charge and reliability is matched to conventional charging methods such as wall powered charging.
The same revolution that took place with the advent and popularisation of mobile devices We aspire to break through with a simple, functional and powerful alternative to charging our devices. Solar backpack don’t have to be slow and unattractive. Making solar products that appeal to the mass market is the mission. To provoke thought in mobile device users about where their energy comes from and how convenient it really is to have to rely on a wall plug rather than 'being your own charge captain'. Solofy aspires to manufacture products that serve an important function without removing style and design aesthetics from the equation. Go on, stay cool and charged!
Features, Highlights and Tech Specifications
- Waterproof Solar Components
- 2A current rating (The Equivalent of a 10 Watt USB Wall Charger)
- 12L internal capacity for all your essentials
- 3 zipper components provide 4 individual spaces for your belongings
- Keep those items safe & dry thanks to the water resistant internal lining
- Lightweight at just 900 grams, (less than 2 Pounds)
- Tough fabrics, scratch and shatter resistant solar panels
- Compatible with all USB devices from Apple, Samsung Sony, Nokia and so on.
We’ve experimented with all kinds of panels, the main requirements being high current ratings and unrestricted angles of the sun. The right solar panels are not temperamental, perform as needed, even under challenging conditions such as cloudy weather, is tough and capable of receiving a beating without damage or malfunctioning. The panels used in the Solofy Mesh One are connected in parallel and are capable of sustaining charge even when half the panels are covered, this is possible entirely due to the high current rating of each individual panel. Four panels working as a team ensures a reliable charge for all those power hungry devices. Charge at 2000mAh (2A)
Solar Research Map
Requirements & what's needed.
- Fabrics, zippers, materials and packaging need to be ordered. The manufacturing process needs to be given the green light with the contracted seamstresses, once the fabrics are in, the assembly can begin. While a team work on the backpack assembly an other focus on the technology integration side. After testing, each backpack can be packed and shipped.
- A large batch of solar panels also need to be ordered from the manufacturer, overall this will lower the cost and will help keep up with demand, after all each backpack requires four individual panels in order to be completed.
- To lessen the contrast between the backpack and the solar panels there needs to be a silicone material to encompass each solar panel in a low profile frame. This is the elegant solution that provides additional durability to the backpack and securely fashions each of the four solar panels to the backpack material without bulk, weight or diminishing its aesthetics. This solution costs nearly a grand as the moulding of silicone needs to be ordered in bulk and the initial mould cost is quite high.
Please support the movement by sharing via social media and helping spread the word. Like most changes the solar revolution cannot become a reality without proper traction!
Shipping Late February 2015
Just a month after the Kickstarter campaign wraps up, delivers will begin to be sent out. Order fulfilment is prioritised based on a first come first served basis. The 249$ (two backpack reward special) will be fulfilled no later than the middle of March, with the possibility of delivery earlier in the month.
Colors & Options
A happy perk, we’ve experimented with different colors for the main material used in the Solofy Mesh One and will be offering three variations should the Kickstarter campaign surpass it’s funding goal.
- Pure White
- Navy Blue (the same color as the actual solar panels)
- Metallic Black (default color option)
Please add your color option should you desire a backpack color other than black. Nearing the end of the campaign pictures will be added of the Pure White and Navy Blue options.
Risks and challenges
The biggest current issue is custom ordering the silicone moulded frames for the solar panels. This is an initial high cost since the moulding company requires a large minimum order quantity, but with continued sales this bulk order will clear itself up. The project has been on standby for a few months due to lack of marketing but is on track for a timely release between February and March. Manufacturing, sourcing have all been on standby awaiting the project to gain traction with orders funding the process. Please help spread the word via social media and word of mouth to see a Solar Backpack that truly enables clean personal energy!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)