About this project
What is SunVolt?
SunVolt is a portable charging platform which will efficiently convert the sun’s rays into powerful charging current for your mobile electronic devices. On a clear day, a SunVolt Solar Power Station can charge multiple devices with the same speed as if they were plugged in and charged from the wall. A custom designed carrying case which is light, stylish, and functional, enables the system to be highly portable. In mere seconds, users can easily set up the panel, plug in their devices, and start the charging process. When charging is complete, the panel quickly and safely stores for future use.
What are the key features of SunVolt?
Size (and Technology) Count: SunVolt panels are based on the powerful and very efficient Monocrystalline photovoltaic technology. The panel size is carefully designed for a perfect compromise between size and performance. SunVolt will be available in both 10 and 15 watt sizes.
Portable Power that Really is Portable: A custom designed carrying case is essential to the portability and ease of use of the power station. The case is constructed of high quality materials and is packed with many unique features.
Materials that Make Sense: We start with the quality of the materials. The case’s outer shell is made of high quality, 1680 densely stitched Ballistic Nylon, which provides a durable and water resistant surface to the pack. The outer case is designed with padded and rigid inserts to both protect and cushion the panel itself along with other inside contents which you might be carrying. As a solar charger, the case will probably be spending the bulk of its time outdoors and, therefore, has been carefully designed to withstand the elements.
Aim and Charge. It's that Easy. The panel is held in place by a hinged, rigid inner shell which can easily fold out and be placed in one of several angle adjuster slots to optimize the panel’s position based on the placement of the sun during the time of use.
Keep your Gadgets Cool. A generous and easily accessible front pocket is used to store the charging cables as well as your devices. The pocket is large enough to store multiple smartphones or most tablet sized computers. Interior pockets are sewn inside the front pocket for better organization and storage.
Stablity is Important: Four Neoprene non-slip pads are attached to the back of the SunVolt case exterior to help prevent slippage while in use.
Carrying Options are a Good Thing: A durable twill weaved handle and sturdy steel loops used for an optional shoulder strap provide two different alternatives for carrying convenience. Note the quality of the loops and the rugged double stitching. This case is built to last!
Maximize the Sun's Energy: A specially engineered power regulation circuit ensures that the SunVolt performs very efficiently, converting the sun’s rays to useable charging power.
Two (or Three) is Better than One: Multiple charging outputs are available for the simultaneous charging of multiple devices. The 10W version will have two available charging ports and the 15W will have three. The SunVolt will ship with a pair of USB charging ports (which will work with any USB charging cable) as well as several MicroUSB and miniUSB plugs (as detailed in "What is included with the Power Station" below). A web site will also be available to purchase additional plugs for harder to find devices for $5.95 extra.
A Great Product Deserves a Great Warranty: A lifetime warranty will cover SunVolt. This product is built to last and will be covered for life against manufacturer defects.
Where can I use SunVolt?
- As an Emergency Power Source. It’s been in the news a lot recently. Power grids worldwide are being stretched to their limits leaving very little margin for error. Seemingly relatively minor heat waves or thunderstorms are known to wipe out huge power grids for days at a time. SunVolt would be indispensable during these times to help keep your mobile phone and other critical technology charged until power can be restored.
- The swimming pool. A whole day at the pool with the kids can be a great way to spend the day, but your gadgets might not have enough gas to make it through. Throw SunVolt into the pool bag, and you can relax knowing outlet-like charging speeds are available even when wall outlets are not!
- RV / Camping Trips. The most obvious use of the SunVolt would be when camping in remote locations where plug-in power is simply not an option. SunVolt is light enough to travel with you, yet powerful enough to keep all your gadgets charged. Camping and SunVolt go together like peas and carrots!
- Sailing/Boating. Nothing is more relaxing than spending a day on the water. However, boating can prove challenging when it comes to keeping your technology charged for the day. The SunVolt is the perfect complement. The anti-slip strips help keep the charging base steady in bumpy conditions and the open water often provides ideal solar charging conditions.
- Beaches. A day at the beach is always great fun, but like camping, charging sources are often completely unavailable. With SunVolt’s convenient carrying case, the panel can be unzipped and set up in seconds to let the charging current flow! Of course the weather resistant case is designed to withstand the sandy conditions and the front pocket will safely protect your devices to boot!
- All day use of tablets. Tablet computer dependency is the norm today, and often we need to use them for time durations that exceed the internal battery’s capability. Even without a wall outlet in sight, SunVolt can provide your tablet with the constant power it needs, allowing you to use it the whole day
- Rural Locations such as mountain cabins, ranches and horse farms can provide a great break from the modern day rat race. Bring your SunVolt along to tap into the sun’s power for a true “off the grid” experience!
- Tailgating. SunVolt will keep the tunes rocking during your next Tailgate. The dual charging ports can easily charge an external speaker as well as your favorite music player and keep the party going all day long!
What is included with each SunVolt Power Station Charging Kit?
The following is included with every SunVolt Power Station Kit:
--> One (1) 10W or 15W Monocrystalline solar panel.
--> One (1) Custom designed carrying case tailored to the selected solar panel size
--> One (1) Power Regulation Circuit. Regulation circuit will be detachable in order to utilize future charging options (See next section below.) Note the solar panel and circuit will be preinstalled in the SunVolt prior to shipping.
--> Multiple Charging Ports. Two (2) charging ports are included with the SunVolt 10W and three (3) with the SunVolt 15W.
--> Charging Tips for Popular Devices. The following charging tips are included as part of the standard SunVolt Power Station Kit:
- Standard Female USB (Type A Receptacle). Plugs that resemble the USB port of your PC. Can be used to charge any device that charges from the USB port of a computer. Two of these connectors will be shipped with SunVolt 10W and three with SunVolt 15W.
- MicroUSB (Type Micro-B Plug). Standard MicroUSB charging tips that have emerged as the defacto standard for most modern day gadgets. Two of these connectors will ship with the SunVolt 10W and three with the SunVolt 15W
- Standard MiniUSB (Type Mini-B Plug). Standard MiniUSB charging tips which were the previous defacto standard before being replaced by MicroUSB. One of these will ship with the SunVolt 10W and two with the SunVolt 15W
--> Instruction Card. A detailed set of instructions will be included with the system.
What are some planned future options?
Even though we are in the process of releasing our first SunVolt charging system, we are still keeping our eyes on the future. We have carefully designed SunVolt in a modular fashion so that new options can be easily added at a later date.
Never Have a Dead Battery Again! Our charging circuit will be connected via a detachable cable which can easily be swapped out in the future for different charging modules. One such module on our product roadmap is a trickle charger for 12v vehicle batteries commonly used by autos, boats, motorcycles, riding mowers, etc.
Charge Day or Night. Powerful battery packs can be used in conjunction with the SunVolt Power Station for storing excess capacity. You can use high capacity lithium polymer batteries with the SunVolt to not only charge your devices, but also store any excess energy for use later when conditions change (like when the sun goes down or clouds roll in). Simply plug the SunVolt into the charging input port of the battery pack and your gadget into the DC output and not a drop of the sun’s energy will go to waste. This could be a good option for users' devices that may need a boost of power during non-daylight hours.
SunVolt Manufacturing Plan
All the pictures on the project page and in the video are of our fully functioning SunVolt production prototypes. Over the past several months, we have worked closely with our trusted manufacturing and design partner (in Taiwan) to polish every detail of the power station to get it to its current production-ready state. At this point the panel, circuit, and carrying case (the three core components of the system) are finished, fully functional and ready for mass production. All the factory needs is for me to say "go" (and send them a sizeable payment, of course)!
This is where you come in. With your help on launching the first production run, the SunVolt will soon become a reality. The last step is to send payment to the factory to buy the materials in bulk (in order to get economies of scale) and finalize the tooling for the production run. The tooling will take 2-3 days to complete and the end-to-end production of the turnkey system will require approximately 21 additional days. All in all, including overseas transit, we should be able to take delivery in late October, well in advance of the 2012 holiday season.
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