Togo Solar connected solar charger (Canceled)
Togo Solar connected solar charger (Canceled)
A high-power solar charger. Controls with a smartphone app & live monitors. Compact carrying case accurately points panel to the sun.
A high-power solar charger. Controls with a smartphone app & live monitors. Compact carrying case accurately points panel to the sun. Read more
About this project
Our lives are busy and we rely on our smart devices to stay connected and productive - devices that need electricity to keep running. That's why we created a portable energy system that keeps you powered even when far away from any wall plug - using just the sun. We've included the latest technologies and best usage practices into this power source. With Togo Solar's charger, worrying about empty batteries will be a thing of the past.
- Fast charging with folding solar panel. Delivers a powerful 15 Watts peak. The highest quality portable panels made, with the finest materials and workmanship.
- Precision panel pointing system for maximum power output at any sun angle.
- A sophisticated smartphone application that informs and alerts the user to the charging progress. The first ever.
- Power electronics that control and continuously monitor panel charging using Bluetooth LE communication.
- A compact case that tucks easily into your bag. The size of a paperback book.
- A quick-charge LiPo battery (BOS) that holds ~3 smartphone charges. Carry the sun's energy with you.
How You Use It
Anytime your smartphone runs low on power, you simply get out the compact battery pack and connect it. You now continue using your smartphone while it is being recharged. Day or night, inside or outside. After about 3 recharges (typically 3 days), the battery pack will need to be recharged.
When the battery BOS runs low, go outside and use the sun! The solar charger provides USB power output. We prefer recharging the Togo battery BOS, but it can also recharge any other USB device directly. Here is how the solar charger is setup:
1) Take the panel out of the carrying case. Magnetically attach the panel to the swingout arms on the cover.
2) Point the solar panel to the sun by using our clever Sunspot(tm) pointing scheme. Set the heading by rotating the box to put the RED sunspot on the line. Set the elevation by adjusting the cover angle to put the BLUE sunspot on the ridge. Drop the side brace into the rack to hold the angle. It's so accurate you'll get 99% of all the possible sunlight!
3) Plug the solar panel cable into the power electronics box. Connect the rechargeable battery or smartphone to be charged to the USB output plug. Keep your devices safely off the ground in the case. You are now solar charging under full digital control!
4) You can now start the smartphone monitor app. It connects to the panel electronics over Bluetooth Low Energy. It shows everything is properly hooked up and pointed, and expected power levels are flowing. It keeps track of charging progress, informs you when the desired amount of energy has been harvested, and alerts you if there is an unexpected drop in power (ex: shade falling on the panel or panel being moved). You sit comfortably in the shade while the panel does its work in the sun. Our sophisticated control and monitoring system gets you back on-the-go as soon as possible.
We think power meters for charge monitoring are required for practical solar power. Small amounts of shade, or incorrect pointing at the sun can dramatically reduce your power. With a power meter, it is obvious that practices such as clipping panels to backpacks or laying panels on the ground are foolish. That's why we built power monitoring into our product. Utilizing a smartphone app as our power meter display makes your life easier. Wasted time is minimized. Updating to the latest features is easy.
About Us: Why We Started Togo Solar
Our team has had many years experience on making solar panels and staying charged with field energy-harvesting and portable solar.
Our Silicon Valley team has worked over ten years on mobile energy-harvesting with military (Army, Special Ops) and civilian systems. We saw the best ways for staying powered when off-the-grid. Our Shanghai team spent the last decade building and operating solar cell manufacturing factories. We know the highest quality materials, components, and fabrication methods. And we know what's needed to make superior chargers for people with modern everyday devices.
We designed high-power solar chargers and tried them out on ourselves. Our designs are working well. My smartphone and tablet haven’t touched a wall plug in 3 years. It's now time to make our designs available to everyone, so all can enjoy practical solar power too.
What We Need From You
Our engineering units are working great, but they're engineering builds. We’ve gotten pretty far on our own, but the next steps need full-scale manufacturing processes.
We need your pledges. With enough orders we will get precision molds, tooling, and volume components to make high quality production units at affordable prices.
Please send us photos of where you are planning to use your solar chargers. We’d love to see your ideas.
And tell your social networks and other solar-enthusiasts and friends on-the-go how to find us. We need your help!
Engineering Units Specifications
- High wattage panel using 20.5% efficiency cSi cells. 15Wp
- Non-glinting textured ETFE frontsheet, 20.7" x 6.4" unfolded, durable flex hinges, lightweight 318gm
- Panel backside graphics: customizable
- Compact carrying box 8.1" x 5.5" x 0.9", 316gm, holds panel & control electronics
- Cover with adjustable angles, Sunspot(tm) sun position indicator for sun tracking
- Panel with mounting arms magnetically attach to solar panel (NdBFe magnets)
- Firmware-controlled charging (PPT, optimizer), outputs: USB 5V/2.2A, high-power barrel connector
- Sensors measure charging: current, voltage, energy & communicate over Bluetooth LE, 32bit ARM, nRF51822
- Large LiPo rechargeable battery holds ~3 smartphone charges, 7400 mAH. Full charge in 2-4hrs.
- Smartphone comprehensive monitoring App: power, energy, and system conditions
- User-settable audio/visual alerts for Charge Complete, Low Power, and Communications Lost
Tips & Tricks
You read the whole thing! You must be seriously thinking of pledging, and that’s great! You’re ready for Launch Team Tips & Tricks.
The app has user-settable levels for target energy to harvest, and maximum permissible power sag. You can map it to audio and visual alarms.
When in a hurry, set the capacity alarm for a single smartphone's energy charge. So you can get going without waiting for an entirely full battery charge.
The app has a measurement mode where the sun strength is instantaneously measured. You can link the measurement to a sound pitch that rises and falls like notes on a piano. The first musical solar panel! Hearing sound is easier than reading a phone display in bright sunlight.
We have lots more to do and lots more to tell – to Team Members. Let’s get started!
Level 1 supporters get our digital assets, and our deep thanks.
Level 2 supporters get the battery BOS, a 7400mAH rechargeable battery. And you'll get a cable that lets you recharge it on any normal USB power port (ex: your computer). It comes with 2 USB outputs for charging. (But we still prefer using solar).
Level 3 supporters get the solar charging system which includes the folding solar panel, the compact carrying case with pointing cover, the built-in power electronics with meters and BLE, and the power monitoring app (iPhone first).
Level 4 supporters get the full system: the battery BOS, the solar panel in the carrying case, the monitor app. This price is a big discount to our anticipated retail price of $199-$225.
Level 5 super-supporters get our Commemorative Launch Edition. You get the full system, but the panel will be imprinted with special graphics and supporters' names, a unique one-of-a-kind item.
Our Kickstarter pricing is very competitive because our manufacturing is done in-house versus through outside parties. And we want to give our KS backers the highest value.
Use of Proceeds/Schedule
Here's our planned schedule of activities that will kick off on completion of our campaign.
Risks and challenges
Hardware produced in volume is always difficult, and unforeseen shipping delays are always possible. However, we have already built and tested several versions of our parts right where we plan to do our production, on the very same specially-built machines. We consider this risk to be much lower than other Kickstarter hardware projects.
There are still some design details and tooling we have to finish. But our team has worked with this technology for many years. We've lined up the critical component supplies, and think getting parts won't be much of a risk. There is some time that will be needed to get proper agency approvals especially for Bluetooth (FCC/CE/ROHS). We haven't done this before, but we have colleagues who've done it already and are currently advising us.
We believe the risks on this hardware campaign are manageable. We appreciate your support, and we are confident we can pull this off.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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