Photos via GotWind
Gotwind has a history of coming up with some clever ideas for renewable energy charger for cell phones, from wind power to solar power to human power. Now they've come up with a smart cart that can charge up to 20 phones at a time using energy from daylight. Gotwind has just announced the latest project for alternative charging. Rather than focusing on solutions for charging phones at places like the Glastonbury Festival, the company turned its attention to the issue of keeping cell phones charged up in developing nations.
While many areas aren't connected to a grid, they are connected to cell phone networks. The only issue is how to keep their batteries charged. People will travel by foot or bike many miles in a day to recharge their batteries, but Gotwind is hoping their latest design will relieve that burden.
"The Street Charger will overcome existing problems with power, using solar power instead of the often un-reliable grid power. The integrated wheels enable it to be pushed around or loaded onto a vehicle to be deployed almost anywhere," states the company.
The street charger is still in trial mode. This version operates at 12 volts, uses a 60 watt solar panel, and has two 110 A/h internal batteries to keep the charger working when there isn't sunlight available.
According to Gotwind, it would take about 44 hours of sunlight to charge the batteries to full, but in practice the batteries shouldn't go lower than about 50%. Gotwind is hoping to get out in the field to test the design, and thinks it might even be possible to get away with just one battery in the cart, which would still allow for 20 phones to be charged at a time, for up to 20 hours.
The cart can be condensed down to a large box during transport, and unpacked to start charging cell phones wherever it is located -- from a remote village to an off-grid festival. While the company is taking orders for the chargers, there isn't word on a plan to widely distribute these in developing countries as of yet.
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