(This is the latest in a regular weekly series of spotlights on green technology that’s accessible to you and me. If you have a green technology or gadget to suggest for coverage, please send a note via my contact email.)
I am on an internal quest for a solar-powered charger for my mobile phone isn't incredibly bulky and that just does its thing. The products produced by Solio don't quite meet my first requirement but they sure offer the gadget-inclined plenty of options for solar-charging for their mobile devices.
The latest product is Solio Bolt, which carries a retail price of $70. The first batch of the Bolt actually sold out, but last time I checked the company was accepting preorders for mid-September.
The Bolt's pitch is that the panels can be rotated to better capture the sun’s power. The device has a 3.7 volt/2000 mAh lithium-polymer battery that can also be charged up from a wall outlet or via USB port. The Bolt weighs about 5 ounces, and it measures 4.7 inches by 1.3 inches by 2.5 inches.
Bolt is intended for charging your whole contingent of mobile devices, except your notebook computer. One with a full charge can juice up an e-reader or smartphone two times, according to Solio. It will deliver up to three full charges to your GPS, flip-phone or digital camera. The Bolt itself takes 9 hours to fill up in the sun or 4.5 hours to charge via the outlet.