A Solar Charger No One Will Ever Use
Image via Kodak
We like to promote solar chargers as a great way to get gadgets off grid and on to renewable energy sources. While there's a ecological footprint associated with solar cells, it's usually offset by the fact that you're not using fossil fuel-generated dirty power to charge up your gear. However, there are instances when solar chargers go awry and the footprint can't be justified. Take for instance the Kodak Solar Charger KS100-C +2.The purpose of a spare battery is to have extra power at the ready. However, it's also important to be able to recharge that power in a reasonable amount of time. While this solar charger from Kodak (pointed out by Dvice) could be nice to have on hand for some cases, it's not going to save you in a time of need unless it's already charged. Why? Because it takes a full 28 hours of sunlight to reach full charge.
See, you can also charge it in 14 hours (?!) via USB cord...which means most people are probably going to be using that to ensure they have a charge and not the solar power component - unless they don't mind keeping it on the window sill for days before the red light turns green. Even after days of waiting, you're still only going to get about 1.5 charges for a cell phone, or up to 200 digital camera images.
So in other words, solar chargers can be great, but they can also be a complete waste of the earth's resources. And priced at $40, we recommend skipping it and saving up for something that will really accomplish your goal.
Or, if you like the idea of a relatively slowly charging, yet compact solar charger, make your own for super, super cheap with recycled materials. Now that's much greener.
Follow Jaymi on Twitter: @JaymiHeimbuchMore on Solar Chargers7 Portable Solar Laptop Chargers Worth ConsideringThe Cheap Solar Battery Charger You May Already HaveMaker Faire 09: GoBe Solar ChargerHyrbid Wind and Solar Charger from Kinesis Finally Available