A powerful lightweight folding solar charger for clean portable power

Having a portable solar power source can make all the difference when you're off the grid, whether it's to power your tunes, your phone, or your camera, and this powerful foldable solar charger promises to deliver plenty of juice in a small form factor.

The SolarGami system, which weighs in at just 3.7 lb, features four solar panels that fold together into the size of a book (8" x 11" x 1 1/2" thick) for transporting, and then deploys into a single 25W solar charging unit (measuring 0.4" x 16" x 22.25") that can be mounted on a tripod or propped up toward the sun when in use.

A detachable battery (either 12,600mAh or 25,200 mAh capacity) stores the electricity, and the SolarGami offers 4 standard USB ports for charging multiple devices, which the maker says will deliver a charge at the "same speed as your wall plug." An AC wall plug also offers the option to charge the battery from the grid before traveling.

© Giga Solar FPC
The panels themselves are built with a lightweight composite made from recycled PET bottles (the equivalent of 6 PET bottles in each unit), which keeps the weight down, and a unique system of flexible hinges, high-strength neodymium magnets, and a compression knob in the center is said to securely hold the panel open when unfolded.

SolarGami is the first product from Giga Solar FPC, which says its mission is "improving the quality of life of all people in the world through accessible, affordable, and environmentally conscious solar products."

"Giga Solar was founded with the belief that our sun can and should provide electrical energy to anyone, anywhere and at anytime. We thought that a good place to start was in powering our mobile electronic devices. Mobile phones and tablet computers need to be recharged constantly. Globally, SolarGami has the potential to save the same amount of energy that it takes to power 1.5 million U.S. homes for a year." - Tom Hood, CEO of Giga Solar

The SolarGami is currently the focus of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which unfortunately doesn't look like will hit its goal of raising $115,000 (campaign ends on January 10th). The company's website doesn't give any details of the next steps for this foldable solar charger if this campaign isn't successful, but here's hoping they'll find a way to get this on the market.

Tags: Solar Gadgets | Technology