mPower aims for lightest, most powerful portable solar generator
This mobile energy source includes solar panels, battery, and power inverter, all in a single, easy to transport package, for access to clean energy both day and night.
The portable solar power market just keeps heating up, with new configurations of larger sizes of 'solar plus battery storage' starting to hit the shelves, so to speak, regularly. I recently covered the Lycan Powerbox, which is predominantly a portable battery storage system that can have solar as an input, but the latest entry into the mobile renewable energy sector is a combined solar, battery, and inverter system that offers an all-in-one solution for off-grid and emergency applications.
The mPower Solar Generator integrates the solar panels, the battery, the power inverter, and the outlets into a single hard-case (polypropylene) that is available in three different sizes. The M6 offers 50W of solar panels and a 300Wh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery, the M12 has 100W of solar panels and a 600Wh battery, and the M24 includes 200W of solar panels and a 1200Wh battery. All of the units come with two USB ports, two 12V DC outputs, and the two larger units also include two 120V outlets (AC, or standard house current) for powering larger devices.
The mPower also includes a battery management system (BMS) for protection against overcharging and over-discharging conditions, and the solar and battery components are said to be appropriately matched in order to get a full charge on the battery in one sunny day. The units can also be chained together to increase the overall generating and storage capacity.
The mPower models also come with an app (because of course they do) that offers estimations on charging times or discharge times (based on the current load), and is said to "help you orientate the solar panels with respect to the sun for optimum power generation." I'm not sure how much value that last aspect will be with users, as it's fairly simple to orient a flat surface toward the sun, and it seems to me that if you can't do that, then perhaps you should also steer clear of electrical devices and power sources in general.
An interesting omission in the company's marketing materials, which name the mPower units as the 'world's lightest' solar generator, is the specs on the actual weight of the units, which was not able to locate. This very well could be the lightest and most powerful unit yet, but we don't have any actual numbers to go on other than the generating capacity and battery capacity, so that aspect of the product could be more marketingspeak than anything else.
The mPower is currently in a crowdfunding phase with an Indiegogo campaign, where backers at the $1190 will receive one of the first of the M12 models (said to be a $500 discount from future retail prices) when they ship in February 2017. Backers at the $1790 level will be able to reserve one of the first M24 models (at a $750 discount). The campaign also has a buy-one-give-one component to it, which means that for every M12 or M24 sold to backers, one M6 model will be donated to an electricity-less family in Haiti.