About this project
The infinityPV HeLi-on is the world's most compact solar charger. It fits into your pocket, and the solar panel can be rolled out when needed. Inside HeLi-on there is a powerful solar panel and a battery, so it can both generate and store energy.
HeLi-on - the pocketable solar panel
The HeLi-on charger combines three key components into a single product: A large energy collecting solar panel, an energy storage battery bank, and efficient electronics. All features are combined in a slick and light design for convenience. HeLi-on will let you charge your smartphone in 2-3 hours* whenever and wherever you need.
You can charge an external device in two ways with HeLi-on: Either unroll the solar panel and charge directly from sunlight or use the internal battery when the sun is down.
The internal battery can be charged either with the solar panel or with any USB charger. The HeLi-on charger is compatible with any device charging through USB, including: Smartphones, flashlights, cameras, portable game consoles, walkie-talkies, etc.
The world's most compact solar charger?
When we say that HeLi-on is the world's most compact solar charger, we mean it! HeLi-on measures just 11.3 x 3.6 x 2.8 centimeters and weighs 105 grams.
HeLi-on is powered by a flexible solar cell foil made by infinityPV. The solar cells themselves are less than 2 micrometer thick, but encapsulated in a protective foil on both sides. This brings the total thickness of the solar panel to less than one millimeter.
HeLi-on featured in ...
Starting at $90 including shipping ($85, for early birds) HeLi-on is competitively priced. We offer HeLi-on in two versions: the base version in white available at $90 and at $100, you will get a HeLi-on with free color selection. We offer blue, white, and black as color choices. Please notice that all prices include Danish VAT (25%) and international shipping.
We also offer double and ten packs of HeLi-on. Our last reward is the "come and meet us" package including 5 HeLi-ons.
As a last reward we offer our postcard sized solar panel. The panel can power small electronics projects and is a demonstration product for the technology. If you would like just the postcard panel, we've got you covered at $15 if you would like a postcard solar panel in addition to HeLi-on just add $10 (70DKK) to your pledge.
The technology inside HeLi-on
Inside HeLi-on you find polymer solar cells produces by infinityPV. Polymer solar cells are part of the third generation of solar cells, also referred to as organic solar cells. The light absorbing active material is carbon based, and the entire solar cell is made with renewable and non-toxic materials. The solar cells are printed directly on thin plastic foil using optimized printing machines.
We chose polymer solar cells for HeLi-on, because they are the only technology that is sufficiently thin and rollable to fit. Our solar cells are colored, partly transparent, light-weight, shatterproof, and rollable. Their flexibility introduces new design options, and the design of HeLi-on is an almost intuitive extension of the properties of the solar cells.
Battery and electronics
Inside the HeLi-on charger, we have placed a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 2,600 milliamp hours. The capacity of this battery is comparable to most current smartphones (163% of iPhone 5s, 139% of iPhone 6, and 92% of iPhone 6+).
HeLi-on is designed to get the best charging efficiency at all times and all weather conditions using custom-made maximum power point tracking electronics. The electronics ensures that the full potential of the solar panel is used to charge the battery or power an external device at any time. HeLi-on also has a LED charge indicator showing the battery level.
The flexible solar panel inside the HeLi-on is developed and produced by infinityPV in Denmark. We are proud to create a device that highlights the advantages of flexible organic solar cells and places them in an everyday product.
infinityPV ApS is a Danish start-up company founded in 2014 with Frederik C. Krebs as its CEO. The core technology of infinityPV is printed electronics and in particular printed organic solar cells. infinityPV is based on several patents within the field of organic solar cells and holds a wide range of competencies in this area. Our experience in large-scale printed organic solar cells is derived from years of success in scientific research and development. So far, the team has fabricated kilometers of solar foil in different designs. With chemists, printing engineers and electronic engineers on hand, we can react quickly to changing requirements and design variations.
Since we launched the company, we have worked to commercialize organic solar cells by supporting research, but also selling solar cells directly to consumers. In 2015, at the Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technologies Competition we won the second place with our scalable solar cell technology.
The Kickstarter team is compriced of Berenger, Markus, Martin, Francesco, Thue, Michael, Michail, Morten, and Frederik from infinityPV.
Morten V. Madsen is an infinityPV co-founder and is heading the Kickstarter initiative. Morten has a PhD degree in polymer solar cell degradation and stability and has worked within the field for 6 years as a scientist at the Technical University of Denmark. Morten has worked to disseminate knowledge on polymer solar cells and has produced the Coursera course "Organic Solar Cells - Theory and Practice" and a long list of videos covering related topics. In addition, Morten is co-author of 20 peer-reviewed publications and has worked with rapid prototyping, manufacture, and design.
Frederik C. Krebs is the CEO of infinityPV, a professor at the Technical University of Denmark, and a world-renowned scientist, recognized as one of the world’s most influential scientific minds. Frederik has been spearheading the development of polymer solar cells and has been awarded with the EliteForsk award, the DFF Advanced Grant for excellent researchers, and the Grundfos prize. When Thomson Reuters highlighted roll-to-roll processed polymer solar cells as one of 100 key research fronts, they wrote: "Frederik Krebs is the author of a remarkable 31 of 35 core papers in this highlighted research front. (...) These data clearly demonstrate the central position of Krebs in research on roll-to-roll processing of polymer solar cells."
▼ Why the name?
We chose the name HeLi-on since we like the resemblance to Helios; the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. We also think of it as Helios, Lithium, on, which for us brings up associations of sunlight, lithium batteries, and "on" as a feeling of always being with you. All are elements that epitomizes our product.
▼ Where can I use HeLi-on?
That is fully up to you. We like to take it with us on camping, festivals, to work, to the beach, sailing, skiing, and many other places. The size of the HeLi-on allows it to easily slip into your pocket or purse - never leave home without it.
▼ What is the power rating of the solar panel?
The solar panel will have a power rating of 3 watts (tested under standard conditions). We have constantly improved our printed solar cell technology and will optimize the size of the panel for this power rating.
▼ What is the lifetime of the solar panel?
Under proper use, the panel will last years. We have tested the panels outdoors under Danish weather conditions (sun, rain, humidity, frost) and we only see marginal degradation for our two-year constant exposure tests. With HeLi-on, degradation is not an issue, since the solar panel is protected inside the shell most of the time.
▼ What is the battery capacity?
The battery capacity is 2600 mAh.
▼ Is HeLi-on waterproof?
The solar panel is fully encapsulated and protected from water. You can easily wipe off dust or dirt with a wet cloth. Rain drops on the panel are also no problem, but you should not immerse HeLi-on in water (not recommended for any electronic product). The electronics are not waterproof. In case of rain, just put HeLi-on in your pocket or bag.
▼ Will a black version of HeLi-on work under the sun?
Yes, any color version of HeLi-on will work just fine. HeLi-on’s design with an isolating layer inside the plastic shell (the space for the solar panel), allows the electronics and battery to work optimally under direct sunlight, with minimum heating. The polished plastic shell reflects away most of the light keeping the battery and electronics within working temperatures. Most solar chargers have their solar panels placed on top of the electronics and battery package. This is problematic since the solar cells are designed to absorb as much light as possible and would therefore heat up the solar charger leading to less efficient charging. With HeLi-on this is not an issue, since the solar cells are placed adjacent to the electronics and battery.
▼ What can I use the postcard solar cell for?
We included the postcard solar cell as a demonstration of our technology. The postcard panel gives 8 volts and can power small electronic projects. You can find some inspiration here.
▼ Can I get a postcard solar panel on top of my pledge?
Yes for sure, just add 70 DKK per panel to any HeLi-on pledge.
▼ When will you ship?
We will ship the HeLi-on chargers July 2016. Postcard solar panels will ship March 2016.
▼ Where can I learn more about polymer solar cells?
Wikipedia is always a good place to start, but you can also check out the Coursera course: "Organic Solar Cells - Theory and Practice" and plasticphotovoltaics.org, in both places you will recognize some faces from this project. If you have a scientific inclination, you can dig into the world of peer-reviewed journals. Here you can see the full list of the publications with Frederik C. Krebs as an author (yes, there are around 500 publications).
▼ Can you show your production facilities for organic solar cells?
Certainly, in this video you can see close-ups from our production. You may also want to check out this video where Frederik is presenting labs and facilities for solar cell manufacture. The interesting parts regarding production will be found in the later part of the video.
▼ Can I buy the solar cells today?
▼ Where are you located?
We are a Danish start-up providing expertise in printed organic solar cells, materials, and solar testing hardware. You can read more about us here. All our products (flexible solar cells, ZnO inks, electrodes and solar testing hardware) are made in Denmark!
▼ Why are all the prices in Danish kroner and what is the exchange rate?
We are a Danish company. All our production is placed in Denmark, and we plan to make and assemble all HeLi-ons in Denmark. Regarding the exchange rate; we have tried to give approximate exchange rates in the pledges, however, the rate may change, so we urge you to check for updated and exact numbers online.
▼ Do I risk paying import duty or taxes?
This is a hard question to answer in general. We have included Danish VAT (25%) in the price, so there will be no additional fee before shipment. For EU backers there will be no additional costs, since we will be shipping from Denmark.
For other places we recommend checking specific regulations. As an example DutyCalculator.com shows that importing to the US will not be problematic as long as the cost is below $200. This means that you should be able to purchase any but the two most expensive pledges without worries.
▼ Do I risk paying import duty or taxes for US?
Short answer: no (for pledges less than $200). Long answer: see above.
▼ What is included in the meet the team pledge?
A meeting with the team, tour of production facility, lunch and dinner, and 5 HeLi-ons. Transportation to Denmark is not included.
▼ Can I ask questions in my own language?
Eventhough we are a Danish company we have native speakers of Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, and of course Danish. You are more than welcome to send questions in any of these languages, but we will be able to answer faster if your question is in English. You will also find subtitles in all of these languages in the video.
▼ Are you on Facebook , Twitter, Youtube, and LinkedIn?
▼ What if I want to order multiple rewards?
Please send us a private message with your request.
*All charging times and solar cell parameters given are based on constant clear sky solar irradiation (1000 watts per square meter solar input). We give charging times for an 80% charge (10 to 90%) for an iPhone 6 (6.91 watt-hour battery).
Risks and challenges
This is our first Kickstarter campaign, and we believe to have planned and calculated everything to our best knowledge. The main component, our solar foil, will be made entirely in-house on our printing machines, and therefore we can ensure no delays on this essential component. We have made arrangements with suppliers for all the components (e.g. electronics, injection molded parts, etc). Component delays and unexpected shortages on these parts can happen. In that case, we will inform you and do our best to solve the problem and perhaps find alternative suppliers. We have planned all the sourcing of the components carefully and continue to adjust it to the number of solar chargers that will be funded within the Kickstarter campaign.
As we undergo quality control and further testing, the solar charger may undergo minor design changes. The charger housing and the length of solar foil may vary slightly. We will inform you on the progress regarding any further developments of the solar charger.
We will try hard to ship as many solar chargers as possible at the same time. In case assembly and sourcing of the components takes longer than expected, we will ship in batches. Early bird backers will be shipped first.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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