Keep your gizmos charged with the sun

Solar powered USB charger
This pocket-sized gizmo lets you utilize the power of the sun to keep your various USB-charged gadgets and goodies operating.

Product designers are finally getting smart these days and utilizing the USB interface to provide battery charging power, thus allowing you to avoid hauling several custom wall-wart power adapters with you. Examples include the ever-popular iPod, other mp3 players, and many cell phones.

Leveraging that common method of charging allows something like this solar charger to be useful. The charger flips open to reveal a couple of photovoltaic solar cells which convert solar energy into electrical power. There are some internal batteries which collect the power for later use should your devices not need charging while the sun is out.

The power is delivered via a standard USB plug, allowing you to plug-in any USB-charging device which needs a bit more juice. There are two ports so you can charge a couple of devices at once. Oh, and don’t forget the LED flashlight to help you find your devices in the dark. Sounds like the designers actually thought this thing out and it would be useful!

Get your very own Solar USB Charger for $60 straight from the Hong Kong source.


  1. For gizmos that do not have a USB port, consider making your own solar panel to charge it.

    To give you an idea of the potential of one solar panel, pretend that you have just made a 20 watt solar panel and it was exposed to six hours of full sun. Multiply the 20 watts times 6 and you have generated 120 watt-hours of energy.

    If you are going to use the solar energy to power an appliance that needs 20 watts, then you could power it for 6 hours on the energy collected and stored that day. This is where the batteries come in to create the “solar generator” solution. A battery will store about 400 watts.