The idea that solar energy can be captured in solar panels and converted into electricity to charge consumer electronics continues to grow as new products emerge in this genre. One such new device is the Regen Renu, a freestanding “power module” which consumers will probably see coming to retail early next year for around $200, plus additional $$ for related accessories.
The Regen Renu module has built-in solar cells which collect the sun’s energy to charge its internal battery. This panel can then be inserted into a series of “extensions” to recharge phones, power audio or offer task lighting. It can also directly charge an iPhone, iPod or USB device. Regen says the Renu’s interface is designed to get the user interested in the energy collection and management process, detailing “how much of the sun’s energy has been harvested and how much remains in storage, cueing users when it is time to place the ReNu panel in a sunny window or outdoors.” The Renu is already drawing some buzz, winning first place and also audience favorite at a competition held by the Consumer Electronics Association. This looks like an interesting product to us and we’ll work to secure one for a future review, so stay tuned.