New solar charger promises to juice up mobile gadgets at 'outlet speeds'

The Kickstarter campaign for the SunVolt Solar Power Station raised more than $67,000 -- more than double what the company behind it, Gomadic, was seeking.

A new portable solar charger that promises to charge mobile devices as quickly as a wall outlet easily raised more than double the amount of development money it was seeking on Kickstarter.

The SunVolt Solar Power Station (pictured below) designed by Gomadic uses larger monocrystalline panels than the other solar charging gadgets that you've seen hitting the market (like the Voltaic Spark I wrote about last year). As a result, it can charge multiple devices as fast as if they were plugged into a regular wall outlet, the company said.

SunVolt will come in two sizes, 10 watts and 15 watts, and it is being designed to work with anything that uses a USB cable to charge. That includes smartphones, tablet computers, MP3 players, GPS systems and digital cameras.


The device is roughly the one-and-a-half times the size of an Apple iPad, and it can be folded up for carrying (ala the photo), according to Gomadic. 

The company signed up with Kicktarter to raise $30,000 to get the idea off the ground and wound up with commitments for more than $67,000 by mid-September. The company hopes to get its product out by the end of October 2012.

According to the Kickstarter profile, the retail price for the 10-watt version will be in the $110 range and the 15-watt version will be priced around $135.

Here's more about the concept: