Tap into green power to fuel your mobile devices

In the mobile-age, most of us just can’t think of stepping out without our smartphones. However, the longevity of the battery life of mobile devices has been a cause of concern for manufacturers and users alike. And more often than not, you will find that your phone battery has completely drained out just when you need your phone the most. To tackle this, the markets are flooded with battery packs and even phone cases with inbuilt batteries that will act as a back-up. While these employ traditional methods, increasingly we have also seen some green charging solutions to prolong the battery life. Not only are they eco-friendly, but you also don’t have to worry about charging them before you set off. We have listed a few such green charging solutions that are creating quite a buzz in the market. While some of them are concepts, the others can be purchased online.

Mobile Shoe charger

Mandar's solution employs simple technology, but works effectively

Mandar's solution employs simple technology, but works effectively

 



Phone battery running out is the most common problem faced by the cellphone users, no matter how good their phone is. Nagpur-based Mandar Tulankar, an engineering student from Nuva College of Engineering, often found himself in a dilemma with his phone battery running out, with no place to charge it. This got him thinking and he came up with a solution using the piezoelectric method. So he placed crystal plates within the sole of one shoe, as that’s where maximum pressure of the body is available. As you walk, the resultant piezoelectric effect converts the mechanical pressure into electric current, which can be used to charge the phone. According to Mandar, if an average person weighing 60 kg goes for a walk for half an hour, then that would be sufficient enough to have his cellphone battery fully charged.
         
iChameleons Solar Charging Case

Looking for iPhone power cases? Check this one

Looking for iPhone power cases? Check this one

 

 

You must be aware of battery cases like those from PowerSkin with built-in rechargeable battery to power your phone when its battery is on the brink. Well, now you have greener options – battery cases that use the solar power. One such solar charging case is available from iChameleons. It features a solar panel; keep it near a source of natural light and it will begin charging. Besides powering your phone, the silicone case also offers better protection. It features a 3.7V 1200mAh built-in rechargeable battery, which can also be charged via USB cable. It’s compatible with the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.

Eco Traveler

Stylish and elegant, these will even charge your phone

Stylish and elegant, these will even charge your phone

 

If you are a frequent traveller and have a green conscience, then you would like the range of solar-paneled travel solutions from Traveler’s Choice. Its Eco Traveler range features two laptop backpacks and three briefcases, all elegantly designed. These contain a flexible PV (photovoltaics) solar sheet and rechargeable battery. The solar sheets generate electricity from light and is used to power the battery. You can then connect the battery using a connector to charge your phone or other smaller electronic devices. They claim that it can charge a phone completely in two hours of exposure to sunlight. Of course, this will depend on the exposure and intensity of the sunlight.

Solio Classic2 Battery Pack

Classic2 will fit in your palm...

Classic2 will fit in your palm...

 

Battery packs are handy, especially as you can rely on them when your gadgets run out of power. While there are many battery packs available, you can explore the solar ones that are equally efficient, and not to mention green. The Classic2 battery pack from Solio is a pretty neat device that can power phones, tablets, e-readers and several other small devices. Typically, when charged for a day in direct sunlight, the Classic2 generates enough power to charge your phone thrice. Its design makes it possible to capture maximum sunlight, and it can be propped-up using a pencil. It features 1Amp USB output, a 3.7V/3,200mAh Li-Poly replaceable battery with an average life of three years and has a max of 5 Watts. In cases of low sunlight, it can be charged using the micro-USB.

Voltaic 1010 OffGrid Solar Backpack

Backpack to charge mobile devices

Backpack to charge mobile devices

 

Whether you have an athletic streak for treks and hikes or love backpacking vacations, Voltaic Systems’ green charging solution would be a great option. The Voltaic Off Grid solar backpack is spacious with 25 litres of storage and utility to charge all your devices on the go. For instance, the solar panels fitted on the backpack will provide 3 hours of talk time on your phone with 1 hour of sunlight exposure and can also charge other devices like digital cameras and PSPs. You can use it without sunlight too, with the integrated 3,000 mAh Universal USB Battery that can be charged using the USB power cable via a computer. It has a pair of removable 2 Watt solar cell with the necessary clips and straps so that you can attach them on to another bag.

Solmate solar phone charger plus lighting

A combination of solar charger and lighting device

A combination of solar charger and lighting device

 

This Solmate solar charging solution also doubles as a flashlight and a lantern. The combination of a portable charger and flashlight makes it a cool option for eco-friendly and adventurous tech-freaks who can’t leave their gadgets behind. Along with the solar charging option, you can also charge it via AC mains and USB charging. The device equips a Li-ion Rechargeable, 3.7V, 1200mAh battery.  It comes with a full-size USB port that enables most devices that come standard with a USB charging cable to plug directly into it without needing separate adapter tips.

Sound Charge

Charge phones with sound

Charge phones with sound

 

Imagine plugging your phone to your T-shirt to charge it. As absurd as it may sound, Orange has this really interesting green charging initiative with its Sound Charge T-shirt that is capable of charging a mobile phone using sound. Orange had tested prototypes of the Sound Charge T-shirts at a music event. The T-shirts featured a front panel to harvest sound, which it then converts into electrical energy to charge a phone.The A4 sized panel on the front of the shirt is built of piezoelectric film, as it is usually found in hi-fi speakers. It acts like an oversized microphone, so when sound waves hit it, the pressure is converted into electrical charge.This charge is then fed into a reservoir battery that charges various phones by using interchangeable leads. All electrical parts are completely removable so that the garment can be washed. It’s a cool idea for music lovers and those who frequent gigs.

iPhone 4/4S AQUA TEK S case

Rugged, water-proof and solar powered case

Rugged, water-proof and solar powered case

 

It definitely doesn’t come across as a good looking iPhone case, but the AQUA TEK S case ensures ruggedness and eco charging solution at its best. The case is resistant to water and is sturdy enough to stand the usual knocks and bumps. You will find solar panels on the backside of the case, which has its body built of tough polycarbonate materials along with added rubber grips for protection. This makes your expensive iPhone ready for the toughest environment. This project was featured at Kickstarter and the Kickstarter website says that this project has successfully raised its funding goal on March 10, 2012.

 

Main Image Credit: Getty Images


Published Date: Nov 16, 2012 04:30 pm | Updated Date: Nov 16, 2012 04:30 pm