San Diego — Solar charging start-up StrongVolt will bring to market a portable solar-powered device charger that automatically powers off when out of direct sunlight and automatically reconnects to the device it is charging once back in the sun.
The proprietary technology, called SunTrack, eliminates the problem with most solar chargers on the market, manually having to reconnect the charger once it is exposed to shade.
A successful six-week crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter ended today, with more than $68,000 in pledges, after an initial minimum threshold of $10,000 was established to begin production.
Six StrongVolt SmartChargers will be available: 3-watt, 5-watt, 7-watt, 10-watt, 12-watt and 18-watt configurations, starting at $35 and topping out at $140 for the 18-watt model. Also available for $25 will be a stand-alone USB dongle that adds SunTrack capability to any currently available solar charger.
The StrongVolt chargers were specifically designed to work with Apple products, which are incompatible with many current solar chargers because they require a constant and stable power source, according to Ian Sells, StrongVolt's founder. They also work with any standard USB-charging device.
The chargers automatically detect the type of device attached and adjust power output accordingly. Two LED lights, red and green, indicate if there is enough sun to efficiently charge a device.
The SmartChargers feature high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells in a lightweight, foldable design with carabiners for easy hanging. The chargers range in weight from 7 ounces to 24 ounces.
The company expects to ship its initial orders by the end of the month.