This project's funding goal was not reached on January 28, 2013.
This project's funding goal was not reached on January 28, 2013.
HOW WILL YOU SURVIVE THE NEXT POWER OUTAGE, NATURAL DISASTER, OR ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? Here's a Hint: Be Prepared.
Keep your mobile devices charged with the new MetAir Solstice - the world's most powerful 55,000 mAh (55 amp hour) non-rechargeable USB mobile device charger. That’s the equivalent of 115 D cell batteries under a 2amp load, at a fraction of the size, weight, and cost!
Stay connected and informed with first responders, family, friends, and government agencies in the event of an emergency or disaster situation. And it will save you a lot of money, up to a 60% savings over buying the same batteries and equipment separately. Don’t let your vital communications devices run out of juice in time of need!
Show your support for emergency preparedness and disaster relief with a reliable back-up power solution by MetAir Power and help say goodbye to dead cell phone and tablet batteries and dark lonely nights when electricity is unavailable due to power outages.
This portable power unit will provide more than 20 full charges to your iPhone 5, more than 5 full charges to your iPad 3, and provide LED room lights six hours a night for up to 12 nights in a row. There is no external charging or battery maintenance required, assuring on-demand power is available when you need it most.
Inside the MetAir Solstice portable power system is an eco-friendly, light weight, high power, disposable zinc-air battery power cartridge that offers the highest available energy density of any non-rechargeable commercially available battery system, by size and weight. The battery cartridge is designed for quick and easy replacement in emergency or off-grid situations, offering convenience, safety, security, and peace of mind.
A single MetAir Solstice power cartridge is comprised of five zinc-air battery cells, each storing more than 23X the energy capacity of a typical D cell alkaline battery under a 2amp load, in a 2.2 lb. "plug n play" battery pack. I'm no Thomas Edison, but that's a staggering amount of on-demand portable energy in a small form factor designed to keep you charged, connected, informed, and entertained when power lines are down!
The replaceable / disposable 55,000 mAh zinc-air battery cartridge for the MetAir Solstice will be available online at MetAirPower.com and through select retailers at cost of $49.
Please Support our MetAir Solstice Portable Power System and Don't be Left Alone in the in Dark with Dead Cell Phone and Other Mobile Device Batteries.
WHY SUPPORT OUR PRODUCT FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS? According to FEMA, major disaster declarations in the U.S. have grown 400% since 1950. In 2011, there were 3,071 reported power outages across the U.S., affecting 41.8 million people and leading to costly service interruptions, huge inconveniences, and even death.
On November 5, 2012, more than 8 million Americans went without electricity, some exceeding twelve days, due to North East super storm Hurricane Sandy. As a result, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, calls Extreme Weather Patterns "The New Normal" and insists that government agencies - and us - do more to prepare.
This is not the only one type of disaster that can strike us at any time. We still have to worry about other natural and unnatural disasters including fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and even zombie attacks (yes, Homeland Security and FEMA reps have declared October Zombie Awareness month to promote gearing up for real disasters).
Shockingly, according to Emergency Management experts, less than 25% of Americans have a disaster plan in place for their family, home, and business. This includes having enough water, food, and batteries on hand for at least 72 hours. And it’s only a matter of time until another major disaster will affect you and your loved ones. How it will affect you depends on one vital difference - PREPAREDNESS.
SAFE AND RELIABLE BACK-UP POWER IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT TO ANY EMERGENCY / DISASTER PREP PLAN - Keep Your Mobile USB Devices Charged and Stay Connected, Informed, Entertained When Power Lines are Down.
The MetAir™ Solstice is essentially a non-rechargeable personal portable power plant, an emergency or back-up mobile device battery charger that delivers outstanding performance improvements for multiple applications within the large and growing personal portable power market. The MetAir Solstice is a “primary” (non-rechargeable) disposable power source. The eco-friendly power cartridge can be conveniently used, discarded, and easily replaced much like the ink toner cartridge in your printer.
Until now, traditional back-up power solutions for emergency preparedness, power outages, or off-grid activities included rechargeable batteries or diesel/gas generators. These solutions have a terrible flaw - they require constant recharging with electricity or liquid fuel. When power is unavailable and gas pumps are down - how are you going to access fuel? Even with solar or wind-generated energy - if it is too cloudy or the wind is light - how do you power or recharge your mobile devices? Don't be stuck alone in the dark with a dead cell phone or tablet and no communication with the outside world. The Solstice unit includes one non-rechargeable zinc-air battery cartridge, multiple USB charging ports for mobile devices, emergency LED lights, and a digital radio.
While the MetAir Solstice portable power unit won't power your refrigerator, run the AC/Heat or do your laundry, it will keep your mobile devices charged for up to two weeks (depending on device, use, and charge frequency). Here's an interesting article describing the need for better, safer, non-rechargeable metal air battery power solutions for emergency back-up power in disaster situations.
High Performance MetAir Battery Cartridge Offers a Unique Advantage
The MetAir Solstice is essentially a lightweight “plug n play” box of portable energy using modular, replaceable, game changing zinc-air power cartridges.
What Can the MetAir Solstice Do For You?
It is always charged and ready to go when you need it most, unlike rechargeable batteries which have a high self-discharge rate and require constant recharging. It is also non-toxic, non-combustible, eco-friendly, and is generally considered safe for disposal with normal household waste.
WHO ARE WE? We are a small group of hardworking passionate guys and one brilliant woman based in Southern California developing a family of MetAir Portable Power products. We design and build low cost, lightweight, high power eco-friendly metal-air battery systems and personal portable power products for emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and recreational use. Our goal is to raise enough capital to fund injection mold tooling, and production volumes of our MetAir Solstice product.
The Solstice is like a mini personal portable power plant that provides on-demand access to USB battery charging power when you need it most. We spent the last several years designing and building award winning, best-in- class, advanced metal air battery materials, system components, and securing multiple patents for this proprietary technology.
In November 2011, we decided to leverage these combined Metal Air battery technologies and capabilities to design, build, scale, and deliver safe, reliable, affordable portable power products for the consumer market - and we need your support to make this a reality.
We have experts on our team with deep relevant industry experience that have designed, built, scaled, marketed, sold, and delivered multiple high volume energy storage and zinc-air battery systems in the past. As a result we believe we have mitigated much of the risk associated with our Kickstarter project. We are very focused and leveraging a disciplined approach to market; understanding the current pain and customer need to deliver compelling on-demand portable power solutions.
We've produced some amazing first prototype units and with your contribution we can purchase the production tooling required to bring our unique and powerful product to market.
WHERE ARE WE NOW WITH THE METAIR SOLSTICE PRODUCT?
Product Design: While we've completed the overall mechanical engineering / product design of the MetAir Solstice, we still have to finalize the component selection for a couple of components including LEDs and radio speakers. It turns out that there are a lot of good options for radios and LEDs (and some not so good options). We're working with manufacturers and distributors to make sure that we choose the best components to be a part of our production Solstice.
Manufacturing: The vast majority of components in the MetAir Solstice have been designed to be manufactured from common, well-understood manufacturing processes. We've identified partners for commodity manufacturing services and are working with them to make sure all of the parts are optimized for problem free (and inexpensive) manufacturing and assembly.
Estimated MetAir Solstice Product Development Timeline:
· February - Finalize design details and component selection, order materials and components, initiate build of cell production equipment
· March – Complete build of cell production equipment, finalize all pre-assembly preparations with outsourced contract manufacturers
· April – Begin cell and battery assembly
· May – Begin package design, get the bugs out of volume assembly
· June – Initiate Final Assembly at the system level
· July – Get any final bugs out of final assembly, complete production level QA/QC
· August - Begin kickstarter rewards fulfillment / shipments for the MetAir Solstice and Power Cartridges (battery cells) using a local partner and ISO Certified battery assembler, House of Batteries.
· September - Fill the pipeline to support the 2013 hurricane season!
The Need for Reliable, Safe, and Portable Emergency Back-up Power to Charge our USB Mobile Devices is Clear and Growing.
Emergency communications rank as a top priority for contingency planning. For businesses, schools, government agencies, homes, and communities alike, a communications failure can be a disaster in itself. Communications are needed to report emergencies, to warn about dangers, to keep citizens informed about developments, coordinate response actions, and keep in touch with loved ones. Both FEMA and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists batteries and access to battery-powered radios, lights, and mobile device chargers as top priorities for emergency preparedness kits.
The MetAir™ Solstice Portable Power System Can Fill this Critical Need
In addition to this pressing need for emergency communications equipment, widespread consumer use of portable, rechargeable electronic devices – smart phones, laptops, tablets, video cameras, games, and more - has created unprecedented growth in portable power demand. The leading battery technology available in today’s lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, and lead acid rechargeable batteries lacks the capacity (energy storage) to address this vast need for on-demand portable power when you need it most (day or night).
MetAir Solstice is lightweight, safe, and reliable for emergency back-up power needs – day or night – when diesel generators, solar, or wind are not available for recharging batteries. The low-cost, replaceable "plug n play" MetAir™ Power Cartridge is designed for quick and easy replacement in emergency situations, offering convenience, safety, security, and peace of mind.
Thanks for the supporting the MetAir portable power mission to deliver clean, safe, quiet, on-demand USB charging power for your mobile devices - day or night - when you need it most.
We believe our MetAir portable power products can help reduce stress and increase personal safety, security, and peace of mind during power outages, natural disasters, zombie attacks, and other off-grid or recreational uses. Cheers and happy holidays.
- Kevin Maloney
MetAir Solstice Target Applications:
MetAir Solstice Battery and System Features:
MetAir Solstice FAQs:
What’s included with my MetAir Solstice funding support?
Depending on which support package you choose for $99 or more (see award options page), the MetAir Solstice portable power unit will include multiple USB charging ports, emergency LED lights, digital radio, and at least one zinc-air power cartridge (the battery inside the unit).
What are the energy / power features of the MetAir Solstice battery power cartridge?
To our knowledge, it's the world's most powerful disposable zinc-air battery pack (by size and weight) for a USB mobile device charging system. The 55 Amp hour replaceable battery cartridge will supply more than 55,000 mAh at 5.5 Volts and deliver more than 300 Watt Hours of stored energy in a 2.2lb / 1Kg form factor measuring 5.25 x 5.25 x 2.5 inches.
The MetAir™ Solstice replaceable/disposable power cartridge is comprised of five cells, each cell stores more than 23X the energy capacity (watt hours) of a typical D cell alkaline battery, at similar weight, under a 2amp load (all five cells combined are equivalent to 115 D cell batteries). I'm no Thomas Edison, but that's a lot of stored energy in a small form factor designed to keep you charged, connected, informed, and entertained when power lines are down!
What will the MetAir Solstice power or charge and how long will it last once I activate the battery?
This unit will charge your iPhone 5 more than 20 times, iPad 3 more than 5 times, and easily power the built in LED emergency lights six hours a night for up to 12 nights in a row when you are stuck alone in the dark.
Is the MetAir Solstice zinc-air battery / power cartridge rechargeable?
No, by design. Rechargeable batteries have a high self-discharge rate, meaning they drain quickly just sitting on the shelf unused and must be constantly monitored or re-charged to ensure operational readiness. MetAir™ Cells are high power primary (non-rechargeable) zinc-air battery cells which can be conveniently used and replaced much like replacing the ink toner cartridge in a printer or razor in a razor blade. These batteries have a long 3 year shelf life and an extremely low self discharge rate. Once activated (exposed to air) and discharged (completely utilized), the MetAir™ Power Cartridge is disposable and is generally considered safe to discard with your normal household waste.
What is the shelf life of a sealed zinc-air cell or battery?
A MetAir™ Replaceable Power Cartridge offers a shelf life of 3 years before initial use (sealed in the original airtight packaging). Zinc-air chemistry has a self-discharge rate which is typically less than 5% per year (when stored sealed in original airtight packaging). Once activated (exposed to air), the battery should be completely utilized within one to two months.
Can a user slow the discharge rate of a zinc-air battery power cartridge once the cartridge has been removed from its original air tight packaging?
Yes, if properly re-sealed to cut-off the access to air, you can place the power cartridge inside a large sealed zip-lock bag, to slow the discharge rate and re-use the battery again for up to two months. Once activated (removed from original airtight packaging), the battery should be used within two months.
Where will I purchase the replaceable zinc-air power cartridges for the MetAir Solstice?
Once the MetAir Solstice launches commercially in mid-2013, replaceable MetAir power cartridges will be available online at www.metairpower.com and through select retail and distribution partners.
What is energy-to-density/weight ratio of the zinc-air chemistry?
Zinc-air offers the highest energy density per weight and volume of any commercially available primary / disposable battery. Zinc-air chemistry offers specific energy (energy density) of up to 400 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/Kg) of primary disposable power, depending on cell housing weight, configuration, and final wiring assembly.
What is the typical voltage of zinc-air battery chemistry?
MetAir Cells leveraging zinc-air chemistry typically provides 1.4V Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) and 0.9V-1.25V per cell under load or closed circuit voltage (CCV).
How does the discharge voltage curve slope relative to lead acid and lithium-ion batteries?
The zinc-air discharge curve is completely flat 90% of the discharge time and then drops off sharply toward the end of the battery life, whereas lead acid and lithium-ion will tend to decrease voltage gradually throughout the discharge period. Alkaline and lead acid batteries suffer from low rate self-discharge that decrease shelf life dramatically. When lead acid batteries are stored fully charged, they suffer from a permanent capacity loss over time and must be maintained (re-charged) every three months to ensure a full state of charge and operational readiness.
What are the current delivery capabilities of zinc-air chemistry?
Delivery capabilities range from 500 milliamps, 1 amp, 2 amps, 3 amps and 4 amps per cell, or up to 40mA/cm2 in a complete cell.
Where is zinc-air technology most commonly used today?
Zinc-air chemistry has been around for more than 100 years and commercially available since the 1930’s. Most of the hundreds of millions of zinc-air batteries produced annually are currently used in hearing aids and other mobile devices, watches, telecommunications equipment, ocean buoys, railway remote signaling, and tactical military applications.
For the extreme techies - how does zinc-air battery chemistry work?
Under the Hood: Unlike other common battery chemistries, such as lithium-ion, nickel metal hydride and lead acid, zinc-air batteries are electro-chemical batteries powered by exposing zinc metal to oxygen from the air to generate an electrical current. The user literally pulls a tab to break the seal, thereby activating airflow into the battery and generating an electrical current. Once activated, the oxygen from the air slowly turns the zinc into zinc-oxide. Then, when the activated battery has been fully utilized, it is generally considered safe for disposal in the normal waste stream. This technology is similar to the hundreds of millions of small zinc-air button cell batteries consumed annually around the world in hearing aids and other small electronic devices.
Does conventional fuel gauge technology (for lead acid, nickel, or lithium batteries) work with zinc-air?
Standard battery fuel gauge technology does not work for zinc-air because of the constant discharge curve. A custom low cost battery management system was designed to read the actual capacity left in the battery based on usage.
Are the MetAir Solstice power cartridges / zinc-air battery technology safe and environmentally friendly?
Safe and Non-combustible – Lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid, a highly corrosive and poisonous liquid that can cause severe chemical burns. MetAir™ cells contain zinc, a non-combustible, non-toxic material. When a lead-acid battery is charged, hydrogen and oxygen gases are formed, which can cause it to explode. Lithium-ion batteries can rupture, ignite, or explode when exposed to high temperature or air. In the event of a fire, the device may emit dense irritating smoke. Lithium batteries have been implicated in at least two fatal cargo plane crashes since 2006. MetAir™ cells contain no liquid fuels and are approved for transport via air, land, and sea by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additionally, watch the zinc-air Vs. lithium ion gunshot test on YouTube.
Waste-to-Clean-Portable Power – The primary fuel source material in the anode of the MetAir™ cells is zinc metal powder derived from recycled electric arc furnace (EAF) dust. EAF is produced as a by-product from steel mills and is classified as a hazardous material. EAF contains roughly twenty percent zinc which is recycled, refined/purified, and treated for use in batteries and other commercial applications. The resulting high purity zinc powder is safe, non-toxic, non-combustible, and environmentally friendly - delivering clean portable power in the MetAir™ Cells. And because zinc-air batteries contain no added Mercury, Cadmium, Lead or Lithium, they are generally considered safe for disposal in the normal waste stream with no special hazardous waste handling required.
 Electrochem Commercial Power (9 September 2006). "Safety and handling guidelines for Electrochem Lithium Batteries"(PDF). http://marine.rutgers.edu. Rutgers University. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
Does zinc-air require United Nations (UN) or Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for commercial shipment?
No. According to TSA and other agency websites, because they are non-toxic, non-combustible, and non-rechargeable, zinc-air batteries are approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for travel / transport via air, land, and sea with no further permissions needed and generally considered safe for disposal with normal household waste.
What are the approximate MetAir Solstice System Dimensions and Weight?
Dimensions of the MetAir Solstice system measure approximately: 7.25 in. L x 7.25 in. W x 3.5 in. H. Battery cartridge only: 5.25 in. L x 5.25 in. W x 2.5 in. H. Weight of complete system, including battery: 3.9 pounds. Weight of zinc-air power cartridge only: 2.2 pounds.
Note: The MetAir Solstice is not a life saving, safety, or medical device, it is simply a compact portable battery charging system (with LED lights and a digital radio) that can be used to power or charge USB mobile devices when traditional sources of electricity are otherwise unavailable. Delivered MetAir Solstice designs are subject to change. For example, final shape, size, color, and weight may vary from the working prototype shown. However, final product will include standard features and functionality highlighted above including multiple USB charging ports, LED lights, digital radio, and one 55,000 mAh hour zinc-air battery cartridge.
Sources: FEMA, Homeland Security, Emergency Management, Eaton Blackout Report, QuantumSphere, MetAirPower.com. Stock photo images purchased and used with permission from iStock photo.
Product designs are complete, working products have been built in our pilot manufacturing lab for validation and feedback (see photos and video) and everything works even better than we had hoped. For full-scale manufacturing, all needed suppliers have been identified - from the package final design lead to the plastic injection molder to the commodity electronics assembler and finally an ISO approved battery assembler. Costs are well understood with firm quotes from most vendors in hand. We just need your support to move forward and purchase tooling, scale initial volume, and deliver the MetAir Solstice product in time for next hurricane season; Very Exciting!
That being said, as with any technology or product launch there are inherent risks and challenges associated with the project. While our team of experts has worked hard to anticipate and mitigate these risks, we don't pretend to have completely eliminated the challenges that go along with bringing a new product to production. The biggest areas we will be watching include the following:
While we've completed the overall design of our mini personal portable power plant, The MetAir Solstice, we are still finalizing component selection for the LED lights and radio speakers. There are lots of good options for radios and LEDs (and we have found in our development work some not so good options ). We don’t expect problems here but we will be extra careful to make sure everything works and fits well.
Additionally, we're still tweaking a few of the plastic parts and components to optimize the fit and overall functionality. Our expert design team uses computer analysis as well as feedback from prototype builds to make sure that we get every detail just right.
We have taken great care to make sure that the components in the MetAir Solstice have been designed to be manufactured from common, well-understood manufacturing processes. We've identified our suppliers for contract manufacturing and are working closely with them to make sure all of the parts are optimized for problem free (and inexpensive) manufacturing and assembly.
Our nano-enhanced gas diffusion electrode or air cathode is the secret sauce / “engine inside” our battery – it’s also the reason the MetAir battery system has a higher specific energy than any other primary disposable battery out there - and the main component from our in-house, highly specialized manufacturing process. We build our award winning, high performance cathode on a high volume machine specifically designed for this (which has been in production for several years and refined with top battery manufacturers!).
Lastly, we are still designing equipment to automate the battery cell manufacturing process which we have historically done by hand. We think we can do it a whole lot quicker with the help of some new equipment. We know just how we want to build this equipment, and we have an in-house expert who has built related machines. Now we need the dough to execute! This is one of the places Kickstarter funding will be applied. Our estimated manufacturing and delivery schedule is outlined below:
• February - Finalize design details and component selection, order materials and components, initiate build of cell production equipment
• March – Complete build of cell production equipment, finalize all pre-assembly preparations with outsourced contract manufacturers
• April – Begin cell and battery assembly
• May – Begin package design, get the bugs out of volume assembly
• June – Initiate Final Assembly at the system level
• July – Get any final bugs out of final assembly, complete production level QA/QC
• August - Begin Kickstarter rewards fulfillment / shipments for the MetAir Solstice and Power Cartridges (battery cells) using a local partner and ISO Certified battery assembler, House of Batteries.
• September - Fill the pipeline to support the 2013 hurricane season!
We believe our team of experts have greatly reduced the risks associated with the MetAir Solstice project tooling, scale-up, launch, and delivery due to their prior experience in the design, manufacture, and marketing of other energy storage devices and high volume zinc-air battery products. In short, this team has the track record, drive, and discipline to see this project through and deliver by next hurricane season, as promised. Thank you for the contribution and support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (31 days)