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Africa/USA: ReadySet Solar Charger Successful In Africa Now Headed To US


Want renewable energy in a small, portable package? Then the ReadySet solar charger by Fenix International may be the closest thing to a perfect on-the-go kit for anyone excited about solar power. The charger was initially developed to help rural people in Africa power their cell phones, but recently it closed out a Kickstarter campaign in which the project earned over 5 times the funding target. It may not be able to power your house, but this kit just might be the thing to charge up all your electronics in a way that makes you feel good about your carbon footprint.
The key components of the ReadySet kit are a modest solar panel and a battery. The 15 Watt monocrystalline solar panel is weatherproof and waterproof, and its size makes it portable enough to set up pretty much anywhere. The battery can store 54 Watt-hours of energy — enough to provide 10 iPhone charges or power an iPad for 12 hours. On the front are two 12V cigarette ports and two 5V USB ports, allowing for a variety of devices to be plugged in. On the back of the battery are standard positive and negative terminals. Additionally, the kit comes with a 3V LED light and a USB universal adapter that can charge any 3.7V lithium battery.

ReadySet aims to be a versatile solution to powering electronic devices.
With the solar panel, the battery can be charged in 6 hours, but an AC adapter included in the kit allows the battery to be plugged into an outlet, if tapping into the grid was warranted. Additionally, Fenix sells a separate bicycle adapter called the Velo that can provide enough energy to charge one mobile phone in under 10 minutes of pedaling. The company also is working on a micro-wind power option.
To get the word out about ReadySet, Fenix launched on Kickstarter in July with a modest goal of $20,000, which could be achieved with only 100 backers. The project was funded successfully with 522 backers providing $112,000.
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