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$5,351 pledged of $6,500 goal
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$5,351 pledged of $6,500 goal
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About this project

"Plug into Independent Power." When the power grid goes down unexpectedly, stay powered and connected! Bring the power of the sun directly to your smart phone!

Why is Solarpad Different?

Wish there was an extra grommet or a hole on your solar panel to run your paracord or attach a carabiner to your backpack? Now you can add your own mounting holes with Solarpad's customizable frame that can be modified by cutting, punching, or drilling out any hole wherever you want in order to satisfy your custom needs!

 Drill, cut, or grommet the way you want your Solarpad to fit!

The Solarpad Kit is designed with a high-quality solar panel with Sunpower cells, Maxim switching regulator, and laminated for the best light transmission and lightest weight possible. For energy storage, our 3350mAh Power Core USB battery uses a high-efficiency charge controller from Maxim and the housing is sealed, which prevents water from leaking in. Also, Power Core uses the same battery that's used in the Tesla electric car, which is the best battery of its kind. Even the built-in USB cables consist of thicker gage wire, which allows the electricity to flow more efficiently. The Solarpad Kit is engineered to squeeze the most energy possible from the sun's rays in to your smart phone. No short-cuts that compromise power or efficiency are taken, period.

Click below for an animation comparing the Solarpad Kit vs. Competitors

Click here for the Open Source instructions how to build the Solarpad prototype!

Compatible with Most USB Devices - Charge your phones, cameras, music players, Bluetooth speakers, GPS devices, and more! If it's about the size of a Smart Phone, the Solarpad Kit can charge it. Connect the charge cable that came with your smart phone, or other USB device, and plug it in to Solarpad or Power Core.

Unparalleled performance - Solarpad in full sun or a fully charged Power Core will recharge a dead iPhone from 0% to 100% in 3 hours! Other similar sized solar chargers can only charge a Smart Phone from 0% to 70% and take over 4 hours to recharge.

Emergency back up power - Your Solarpad Kit battery system will provide you with USB power when the power grid goes down after an earthquake, storm, or other natural disaster. When the grid goes down, don’t be left without power!

  • Keeps your phone charged to stay in touch with loved ones, get the latest news, and receive alerts and essential information. 
  • Keeps the lights on by charging your USB lighting devices such as LED flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns. 
  • If the grid is down for days or weeks, the sun will keep charging your devices.

 

For your everyday use – Charging your smart phone daily with the power of the sun is not a problem with Solarpad. Experience renewable off-grid power everyday with this fully DC solar power system. The Power Core battery will charge during the day and charge your phone overnight so you are ready for the next day!

Entry-level solar solution – The Solarpad Kit is a low cost, entry-level solar system for those wanting the independence of solar, without the high costs and space requirements of larger panels, inverters and battery banks.

 

Testing a prototype Solarpad on the back of my bicycle!
Testing a prototype Solarpad on the back of my bicycle!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Keep the solar panel near the top of your backpack facing up toward the sun. 
  • Keep your phone and battery out of direct sun and in the shade or in a bag. Excessive heat can damage batteries. 
  • Best times to solar charge is from 8am to 4pm in the summer and 10am to 2pm in the winter. Atmosphere absorbs considerable sunlight when the sun is at low angles in the sky, so avoid charging phones too early or late in the day. 
  • If using Solarpad with the Power Core battery, allow Power Core to charge about 10 to 15 minutes before plugging in your phone. 
  • Avoid charging behind a window because glass absorbs some light radiation and lowers solar power output. 
  • Always try to aim Solarpad directly at the sun and never aim Solarpad at any sideways or down angle. 
  • Phones tend to deal with direct solar energy badly because of power fluctuations, so use Solarpad with the Power Core battery when charging phones for best results. 
  • Try using apps like this that can show where to place Solarpad in order to avoid obstructions like trees throughout the day: http://www.sunsurveyor.com 
  • Under low power conditions like thick clouds, shadows, sunrise, sunset, or dead Power Core, try unplugging phone and turning on airplane mode to avoid flashing charge screen and draining phone battery. 
  • Make sure Power Core and phone are fully charged before any long trip. 
  • Take advantage of times when you can rest and solar charge at maximum power like eating lunch in a clearing or at a picnic table. Solar charging is more difficult while on the move because of shadows and non-optimal angles of the solar rays. 

Solarpad Panel Specs:

 

* Size: W 6.3 inches X L 10.3 inches X H 0.1 inches

* Cable Length: 38.0 inches * Weight: 143g (114g Bare Panel)

* Output - Female USB Type A Connector

* Nominal Output - Power: 5 Watts | Current: 1000mA | Voltage: 5 Volts (6 Volts Bare Panel - No USB)

* Cell Type: Sunpower Monocrystalline Cells Laminated on Plastic Subtrate

Power Core USB Battery Specs:

 

* Time to Fully Charge Power Core @ 5V 1A: 3 hours

* Capacity: 3350mAh/3.6V * Type: Panasonic NCR18650B Lithium-Ion

* Diameter: 1.2 inches * Body Length: 4.2 inches

* Cable Length: 7.0 inches * Weight: 109g

* Input - Male USB Type A Connector

* Input - Current: 450 to 1300mA | Voltage: 5 to 6 Volts

* Output - Female USB Type A Connector

* Output - Current: 500mA (iPhone) 750mA (Android) | Voltage: 5 Volts

* Battery Life Under Typical Use: 5+ years (Battery starts losing 10% capacity after 500 full charge cycles, but is still useable)

* Provides up to 110% iPhone 7 Charge or 70% Galaxy S7 Charge

* Compatible with iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and Others

Where Do the Funds Go and How Long Will it Take to Finish?

Prototype Solarpad 5V regulator. Circuit will be moved inside the USB Type A connector to avoid any overheating issues.
Prototype Solarpad 5V regulator. Circuit will be moved inside the USB Type A connector to avoid any overheating issues.

We've solved the fundamental problems with solar USB charging, but right now each Solarpad Kit is assembled by me using prototype components. In order to build the final production version at a reasonable cost, funds must be raised to purchase a minimum order of hundreds of solar panels, batteries, cables, circuits, and plastic components. Other equipment costs include molds for the plastic parts and creating custom assembly fixtures. The Solarpad Kit is designed to be as simple to manufacture as possible and it is always being refined for the most efficient assembly. Our suppliers have given us great quality prototype parts and they are ready to manufacture the components in larger quantities. Typical manufacturing lead-times for components are about 60 days and test batches are always ordered before going in to large-scale production. Tools, fixtures, test equipment, and work benches for assembling products need to be purchased too. Realistically, it should take about 1 year to set-up shop, order parts, manufacture parts, inspect components, assemble each batch, final test each unit, package, and then ship them.

Inside the Power Core USB battery prototype
Inside the Power Core USB battery prototype

 Don't Let Your Next Outdoor Adventure Look Like This!

Wall sockets are already taken! Use the Solarpad Kit instead!
Wall sockets are already taken! Use the Solarpad Kit instead!

 

Risks and challenges

I have a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with over 10 years of experience and a few successful Kickstarter projects under my belt. I also gained a lot manufacturing experience working at my Dad's sheet metal shop since I was a kid. Unforeseen issues that can delay the shipment of rewards to Kickstarter backers include, but are not limited to:

* Delays in receiving components on time from vendors.
* Delays from rejected parts during inspection.
* Delays from the carrier in shipping the product to the Kickstarter backer.

As a backer of other projects, I understand the importance of honest communication, even if the news is not so good, so I will make it a priority to answer all backer questions as fast as I can and give updates as soon as possible. We are on this journey together.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You!

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    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    DIY BARE SOLAR PANEL - NO USB

    6V 1A, Water-Resistant, lightweight, bare solar panel with bare tab leads on back of panel. Great for soldering your own wires for custom DIY solar projects!

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! - SOLARPAD ONLY

    Great for direct sun charging phones! Genuine regulated 5V 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB solar panel.

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    SOLARPAD ONLY

    Great for direct sun charging phones! Genuine regulated 5V 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB solar panel.

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    POWER CORE BATTERY ONLY

    3350mAh Water-Resistant USB Battery for ultra-portable, on-the-go Smart Phone charging!

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    Pledge $58 or more About $58

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! - SOLARPAD KIT

    Solarpad 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB Charger Kit, which includes the Solarpad solar panel and 3350mAh Power Core USB battery.

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    Pledge $78 or more About $78

    SOLARPAD COMPLETE KIT!

    Solarpad 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB Charger Kit, which includes the Solarpad solar panel and 3350mAh Power Core USB battery.

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    Pledge $116 or more About $116

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! - TWO SOLARPAD KITS!

    Two Solarpad 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB Charger Kits, which includes two Solarpad solar panels and two 3350mAh Power Core USB batteries. For constant phone usage under non-ideal conditions like partial clouds, keep a continuous charge by using one battery to charge your phone while the other battery is solar charging or solar charge both batteries for double the capacity!

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    Pledge $117 or more About $117

    SOLARPAD + TWO BATTERIES

    Solarpad 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB Charger Kit, which includes two 3350mAh Power Core USB batteries. For constant phone usage, keep a continuous charge by using one battery to charge your phone while the other battery is solar charging!

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    Pledge $156 or more About $156

    TWO SOLARPAD COMPLETE KITS!

    Two Solarpad 5-Watt, Water-Resistant, USB Charger Kits, which includes two Solarpad solar panels and two 3350mAh Power Core USB batteries. For constant phone usage under non-ideal conditions like partial clouds, keep a continuous charge by using one battery to charge your phone while the other battery is solar charging or solar charge both batteries for double the capacity!

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Funding period

- (30 days)