A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Sunslice is not only the smallest solar charger in the world but it has also the best size-to-power ratio. With the rated power output (announced by the solar panel producers) of its solar panels of 3.6 Watts, it exceeds the power output of much bigger solar chargers.
For this comparison, we wrote down the theoretical power output of the solar panels instead of the real power output of the charger. Our competitors only disclose the rated power of the panels, rather the true power output which is slightly inferior. To make it a fair comparison, we compare them with our solar panel's rated power output in the image above. However, we prefer to announce the real power output of 3 Watts in the general description of the product for transparency.
By pledging on our Kickstarter campaign, you make this venture possible and we really want to thank you right now. This is why we created the Sunslice of Fame hanging in our office. On it, we will write the name of all our backers all along the campaign.
The co-founders of Sunslice are Geoffroy Ghion and Henri Gernaey.
We are two engineers from the Louvain School of Engineering, obtaining master degrees in civil and electromechanics engineering respectively.
The ambitious idea of creating a solar charger in the size of a credit card surged from a conversation with an explorer who sought an optimal solution to charge his devices during his expeditions and his daily life. We accepted this challenge with the will to use our technical and business development background to find innovative and green solutions to important energetic problems.
Sunslice is the smallest solar charger in the world, but also the first of a long list of green technical solutions we want to develop and bring to the market.
More than two complementary associates, we are also very close friends with this common objective.
Quentin Lavigne, Louis Vielle and Denis Schollen are respectively in charge of web-marketing and digital development, audiovisual production and graphic design. We met them at university and they joined our team to help us in this challenging but awesome venture.
We are lucky to be advised by Vincent Werbrouck, mechanical engineer and expert in business development. He was the Chief Innovation Officer at Magotteaux, the world-leading supplier of process optimization products & services for high-abrasion extracting industries.Sunslice has also been co-designed by François Royen and Laura Hong from IOL Strategic Design. Special attention has been given to the industrial feasibility of the product, which will have to be produced in large quantities, for Kickstarter and later on.
Sunslice participated on November 14th, in Bonn, to the official launch of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, established by the Solar Impulse Foundation and chaired by Bertrand Piccard. The official launch corresponded also to the COP23, the 2017 UN Climate Changes Conference which takes place from 6 to 17 November 2017 at the World Conference Center in Bonn.
The World Alliance brings together the main actors involved in developing, financing or promoting products, services, processes and technologies that protect the environment in a profitable way.
The 1000 most promising solutions will be selected and labelled as Efficient Solutions.
The most innovative and durable solutions in the world were thus attending the event yesterday. It was certainly very inspiring but it most of all could lead to promising collaborations in the future.
No need to be one of the biggest companies to do its bit. Ambition, perseverance and faith are the keys to a better world.
"Work Hard, Dream Big" !
We came back Saturday 11th of November from an extremely interesting business trip in Lisbon, where we have been attending Web Summit, the largest tech conference in the world. We had our own booth and the feedback we got from the visitors was very positive. Promising partnerships came out of the discussions with attending startups and companies. Sunslice’s future in terms of investment and new innovative products is very promising. It looks like this Kickstarter campaign will not only lead to the launch of Sunslice’s production and the production of a minimum of 1000 units, but also to new collaborations and ideas. Our mission to bring Energy Anywhere is on the right track and this gives us the motivation to give all our own energy to this project ! Thank you for helping to make this big dream a reality !
Risks and challenges
All innovative projects face obstacles, otherwise they would already exist. To achieve our functional prototype, we had to overcome many hurdles. That has never discouraged us, and we persevered until we succeeded. Sunslice pushes the limits of what is possible. We have already explored and overcome all major challenges, and identified and secured a collaboration with all the suppliers and manufacturers necessary to complete the project. Minor changes and are still required to adapt our model to large scale production and optimize the performance of the electronics.
We are aware that the next steps will present their own challenges, but careful planning, rigorous supervision of the operations and our hard work will limit the risks. The main challenges we foresee are:
Scaling up: We’ve designed Sunslice to be compatible with large scale production. Making that step requires large investments to manufacture injection molds, set up assembly lines and test the quality of the products. That’s why we are seeking funding on Kickstarter. On our end, managing the logistics and organisation of such a project will be a personal challenge, which we are confident we can undertake.
Injection molding: Due to the high costs of injection molds, we built the first prototypes using 3D printing. Our design is compatible with the industry’s advanced capabilities, but we will need to wait for the first injected pieces to verify that the results satisfy our requirements. If problems arise from this step, delays may occur while we fix the problem.
Manufacturing delays: Proceeding with the production phase of a project requires many different people to work together. This also means that we are dependent on their constraints and delays. We work with trusted manufacturers, but we have learnt from experience that no one is immune to unforeseen issues.
We put our hearts and souls into this project. By supporting us, you are contributing to making this dream come true, and showing that you believe in us. That is something we take very seriously, and for which we are grateful. That’s why transparency is very important to us, and we will communicate our progress every step of the way.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter