Might this work? A merging of the three worlds of solar-power, social networking and voucher redemption.
We’ve been peeking at portable solar chargers for electronic gadgets almost since TreeHugger started filling pixels with green products seven years ago. Take the Solio back in 2004. But this product release comes with a new twist, and its not that the solar panel provided can suck up enough sun juice to run your iPad. More that the company want to offer the world its “First Social Energy Marketplace.”
Changers, a Berlin, Germany, based business, with it sights keenly set on the USA, says it system does more than capture solar energy, it also records how much power has been generated, and then uploads these specs to online social network forums. Why? To make your carbon dioxide savings
visible, via graphs, earn credits for redemption with providers of green products, and compete with friends and inspire others to make a change.
Apparently social networking behemoths the likes of Facebook and Twitter will be employed to share your reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Although early day yet, it seems like online green retailers such as Holstee are being partnered with, so solar charging credits can be redeemed, just like frequent flyer miles.
The company’s lead investor is Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG, although the press release info also observes that the actual solar panels are made in Colorado, USA. The panel comes with suction cups so it can easily affixed to a window. The accompanying battery module is said to be able to be fully charged by fours of direct sunlight, and then offer two recharges of, say an iPod. Full specifications on the battery and solar panel here.
Will this combination of high performance solar charging and social networking bring about any effective change in energy usage? Hard to say, but it is a timely and potent combination. Here’s Changer’s take on the question.
And some more information via a video at Information Week:
The solar panel and battery combo kit sells online for $150 USD, or €119 for those with Euros in their wallet.
More Portable Solar Chargers
• TreeHugger Review: The Solio Solar Charger
• Highgear Solarpod, A Snappy Little Solar Charger
• Proporta Solar GPS and Solar Charger
• Soldius1 Solar Phone Charger
• Millet Solar Pad: Batteryless in the Backcountry.