Portable Solar Power Sources
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Conservation and efficient use of energy is a huge issue these days, particularly in Japan where the nuclear power plants have been shut down and people are seriously concerned about whether we will have enough electric power in the coming summer months when electricity use will be at the highest. Well, if you’re worried about running out of electric power, here’s the perfect gadget for you – your very own portable solar panel kit! The mobile solar battery system WINGSOL MSR-110B, which has just come on to the market at the start of this month, was developed jointly by tent manufacturer Taiyo Kogyo Corporation and visual products and services provider OS Co., Ltd., and is made from two parts - the solar unit which is a flexible amorphous solar panel sheet, and the battery unit. The solar panel sheet can be rolled up and carried around easily, so the battery unit can be charged anywhere, indoors or outdoors. Further, the solar unit and battery unit can be separated and the battery can be used on its own as a power source. The battery unit uses a nickel hydrogen battery which allows for long lasting, stable electricity output. In addition to being solar powered, the battery can also be charged from a regular power outlet and can be used immediately in the event of an emergency power outage. The device does not emit loud noises or exhaust fumes as a traditional engine powered generator would, so it is environment-friendly as well. Under sunny weather conditions, the battery fully charges in approximately 8 hours, and it provides enough electricity to power an LED light for 6-7 hours or a computer for about 2-3 hours. The solar unit and battery unit together weighs 14.5 kg (about 32 lb).
The technology sounds quite advanced and useful, doesn’t it? Well, the people who developed the battery system say that it was a challenge to create the solar panel sheet with a flexible material that can be rolled up, but now that they have been able to overcome that challenge, they hope the product will be used to power important electronic devices including communications equipment, computers, lights, T.V. sets and fans in disaster struck areas or areas without electricity. If you’re interested, they have a dedicated website (in Japanese) with details of the product. The WINGSOL battery system currently costs 609,000yen ($7,612), so it doesn’t come cheap, but they hope to be able to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce the price in the future. Indeed, if the cost can be brought down, this product could have great potential as a life-saving power source around the world, and of course, technology that raises people’s quality of life is always welcome. We have to say that this is a job well done!