About this project
AS SEEN ON
The biggest reward is promoting clean, renewable energy and helping advance solar technology! But, you also get to become energy independent - untether yourself from the grid.
Each SunJack Kit Includes
- 14/20 Watt Foldable Solar Panel with two 2A USB ports
- Ultraslim Lithium-Polymer battery
- SunJack fast-charge battery cable
- Handy carabiners for hanging your SunJack
- Instruction manual
14 Watt SunJack Technical Specs
- Solar panels: 14 watts of high efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells
- Max output voltage/current: Two 5V/2A USB ports
- Battery: 8,000mAh lithium-polymer battery
- Size folded: 6.75” x 9.25” x 1.75” (17.15cm x 23.50cm x 4.5cm)
- Size unfolded: 30.75” x 9.25” x 1.75” (78.11cm x 23.50cm x 4.5cm)
- Weight: 2lbs (907.19grams)
20 Watt SunJack Technical Specs
- Solar panels: 20 watts of high efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells
- Max output voltage/current: Two 5V/2A USB ports
- Battery: Two 8,000mAh lithium-polymer batteries
- Size folded: 8.5” x 12” x 1.75” (21.59cm x 30.48cm x 4.5cm)
- Size unfolded: 36.1” x 12” x 1.75” (91.70cm x 30.48cm x 4.5cm)
- Weight: 2.7lbs (1224.70grams)
WHERE CAN I USE SUNJACK?
- As an Emergency Power Source. Are you earthquake / zombie / disaster ready?
- RV / Camping / Backpacking / Rock-Climbing trips.
- On your car dashboard.
- Multi-Day Festivals )'(
- Beaches and pool-lounging.
- Rural locations such as mountain cabins, ranches and farms.
- I'd like to say in Space, but I haven't tested it there ... yet.
WHAT MAKES SUNJACK DIFFERENT?
Our secret sauce is in our proprietary USB port and our lithium-polymer battery. We've found a way to optimize filling up the battery from sunlight - think of it as being able to get more water out of your faucet faster. The SunJack is able to get more electrons flowing into the battery faster than any solar charger available, which means you get wall-outlet charging speeds in an incredibly portable form-factor.
Beyond technical performance, we also care about the longevity of this product. The great thing about our monocrystalline solar cells is that they've shown to produce 80% of their power even after 25 years of use. The lithium-polymer battery should hold 80% of it's capacity after 1,000 cycles - so if you were to cycle the battery every day it should still charge even after three years. If you want to trade in your battery at any time, you can send in your old battery and we'll send you a new one for $25 + shipping and handling. If you want to just buy a second battery, it'll be $40 + shipping and handling. This means your SunJack will probably last much longer than the device you're charging.
DID WE MENTION SUNJACK IS TOUGH?
AND FAST CHARGING?
FREE WEATHERPROOF SLEEVE
We hit our stretch goal of $50,000! As a special bonus for Kickstarter backers, we'll be including a free weatherproof sleeve custom tailored for your SunJack. Water will roll right off, sand, dust, and mud are easily wiped off. Leave your SunJack out to the elements without fear :)
I love solar because it aligns with my personal values of efficiency and independence. I also work in the solar industry, distributing solar panels and related components for residential homes. About a year ago, I recognized a need for portable solar power and discovered how valuable it was to anybody with mobile devices or for disaster preparation. As a hobby survivalist and off-grid camper, I tried several solar chargers but found they just weren't very powerful (and the powerful ones weren't portable). So I embarked on a year-long journey to develop the SunJack - massive power in minimal size - which I'm proud to present to you today.
Beta tester Greg Cooper and I met via helping him source solar components. After bonding over our Australian roots, I learned about his work in Papua New Guinea (an Oceanic Country with much undeveloped infrastructure). When I showed him an early prototype of the SunJack he immediately saw the value and application for rural villages. People are dying from pleurisy and pnemounia and lacking literacy due to lighting inaccessibility. SunJack solves this. Beyond charging our first-world luxuries, SunJack can provide non-toxic lighting, enable communication, and improve lives world-wide. Be part of this energy empowerment! :)
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
Solar and components are cheaper when manufactured in bulk - and we need to place an initial production run of 300 units in order to make this project feasible. If we can hit 1,000 units then this will become cost-effective, and we can start donating more units to those in need - disaster areas, off-grid medical tents, third world countries, etc. When you make a pledge or share this page, you're helping advance the cause of energy independence for yourself and energy empowerment for those in need.
THE SUNJACK TEAM
It's been a long road creating dozens of prototypes, spending hours discharging and charging phones and tablets, running lights for days, and trying to get the look, weight, and feel just right. But it's now at a place that I'm happy to release it to the world and put my name behind it. We've invested in 100 beta test units which are currently out in the field and getting feedback so that you will receive a thoroughly tested product. I personally use the SunJack on my car dashboard, out camping, and at multi-day art/music festivals. My cellphone is energy independent! A big thank you to all our supporters that have helped us test the various versions along the way - it's with their help we've made it this far.
We already have a battery and solar cell manufacturer partner lined up, and we have been able to produce 100 units, fully functional, without a hitch. I have personally visited the factories and conducted background checks on their capabilities to scale to thousands of units. The only thing that's next in the process is to fine tune the feedback from the first 100 SunJacks and place a sufficient order size to get a cost-effective production run.
- Production of the SunJacks will take ~21 days from the day we give the final go ahead (for a minimum order quantity).
- That will give us 3-4 weeks to produce and ship product to our backers once the campaign ends in May 2014.
- You receive your SunJack at the end of June.
With your support and backing, we expect to have the rewards in your hands at the end of June, just in time for summer events. Please share this link with any of your friends and family that might benefit from portable power; or better yet, gift them a SunJack!
HOW TO USE SUNJACK
1. Place SunJack in direct sunlight. Angle panels to sun for maximum power. Clouds and light coming through windows reduces power.
2. SunJack will fully charge the battery in about 5 hours of direct sun.
3. Charge your phone/mobile device several times from the SunJack battery!
FROM SOLAR PANEL
2. Plug your mobile device into the SunJack USB port.
3. Charge your mobile device directly from the solar panels!
HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE?
Make a pledge at any level that best suits you, and announce to your friends and family that you're supporting this Kickstarter campaign!
Here's an easy convenient link to share - http://www.bit.ly/sunjack
Spreading awareness is the toughest part of any campaign, and anything you can do to help promote this cause is deeply appreciated.
Risks and challenges
The SunJack has been prototyped and tested extensively. I've personally visited the production factory, examined their capabilities, and am confident we can ship this product on time and as expected. All the engineering and production is already proven - I just need economies of scale to make this financially feasible.
That said, there are still risks and challenges with manufacturing and shipping items across the country and around the world. Items may get damaged or lost in transit, the factory could blow up or burn down at any time, or World War 3 may erupt (then SunJack would really be helpful!)
With gifting in Papua New Guinea, there is potential for dangerous political climate or other foreign aid impediments. In the event that Papua New Guinea becomes undeliverable, we'll run a public vote on which location and organization to receive the SunJacks.
I'll be keeping in constant communication with everybody through Facebook (facebook.com/thesunjack), Twitter (@thesunjack), and Kickstarter of production progress, and will email you when an item is shipped out. You can hold me personally accountable to receiving your SunJack in a timely manner, and you're welcome to visit me and test out a SunJack if you're anywhere near Los Angeles!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! The 14 Watt SunJack comes with an 8,000mAh battery that gives you enough power to charge four iPhones after 5 hours in the sun. The 20 Watt SunJack comes with two 8,000mAh batteries, giving you enough power to charge eight iPhones after 5 hours of sun.
If you have your own portable battery, you can also use with the SunJack, but our battery is optimized for maximum charging speed from the SunJack.
Yes! The battery can also charge from any standard micro-USB plug. This is useful if you're going on a trip and want to have maximum charge with no down-time.
The battery will reach a full charge in about 5 hours.
If you look at a standard Apple wall charger (http://store.apple.com/us/iphone/iphone-accessories/power), you'll see that the small plug is 5 Watts, and the large plug is 12 Watts. The SunJack is more powerful than both of these!
You want maximum solar power because the rating for a solar panel is only for direct sunlight. This means if it's cloudy, a 5 Watt solar panel isn't going to provide enough charge, but our 20 Watt solar panel will still have plenty of juice to spare (allowing for charging even under indirect sunlight or cloudy conditions).
A Watt is a unit of power, which indicates how much energy can be transferred in a given second. Most solar chargers on the market (with our form-factor and portability) are less than 14 Watts. Most 20 Watt solar panels are not portable - they're large, heavy, and rigid. And this is the peak power under direct sunlight, which means a 5 Watt solar charger in indirect sunlight may only produce 3 Watts of power - less than a small Apple plug. When it comes to solar, more Watts = more power!
You can also think of Watts similar to horsepower or CPU speed. You can still get the work done on lower horsepower/CPU speed/less Watts, it will just take longer. With 14 and 20 Watts of solar power, there's ample power to charge your devices, even with clouds.
If you're wanting wall-outlet charging speeds of up to 2 Amps of current, you'll want as much power as possible. Fortunately with the SunJack, even if there's no sun you'll be able to rapidly charge all your devices with our battery.
Our solar USB ports provide a full 2 amps of output - which means the 20 Watt SunJack could charge 2 iPads at the same time under direct sunlight!
Our battery also is able to take in a full 2 amp charge from the solar cells, and discharge a full 2 amps - which allows for very rapid energy storage unlike anything else available.
Simply put, our USB ports allow for maximum fast-charging of any device.
Yes! Each of the SunJack USB ports provide up to 2 Amps of output, so you can charge directly from the power of sunlight. If it becomes cloudy, simply switch over to the battery for continued charge.
The efficiency ratio of the solar cell to convert sun light to DC current is ~19%, which is higher than average due to using mono-crystalline instead of poly-crystalline solar cells. Here's a more in-depth article on the difference between mono and poly solar cells: http://bit.ly/mono-vs-poly
We use monocrystalline solar cells in the SunJack, which are the highest efficiency and longest-lasting solar photovoltaics available. Monocrystalline solar panels are typically warrantied for 25 years due to their durability and reliability.
Polycrystalline is less pure than monocrystalline and has lower heat tolerance, but is cheaper. If you're installing solar over a large area and spending tens of thousands of dollars, it may be a better option to save with polycrystalline solar panels.
Thin-Film is the least efficient, usually around 10%, and degrade the fastest, but is the cheapest option, and useful for certain applications where weight and flexibility are critical issues.
Read more in depth on the differences here: http://www.bit.ly/mono-vs-poly
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