Personal Solar Charger That’s Tough As Nails

What’s not to like about solar-powered chargers for mobile devices? Well, how about the four hours of ideal sunny conditions it can take to fully charge a phone? Or the need to store chargers in a climate-controlled environment? And don’t get us started about what misery ensues if you drop them or get them wet. If this is what it takes to use a solar-powered charger, only the most devoted solar enthusiasts will even try. (Which we did.)

Coming to the rescue is Solar Components, which claims its new Joos Orange personal charger is the one for those of us who love to camp and travel, work during vacation, or just plain can’t put our mobile devices down long enough to charge them at home.  Seriously: They say this is a charger you don’t have to worry about leaving out in the rain.

solar charger, mobile devices, JOOS Orange

image via Solar Components

The Joos Orange is about the size of a paperback book. The device is touted for its ability to produce power under cloudy or rainy conditions, in the shade, under water – even after being shot with a .22 caliber rifle (see the video below). The Orange won the 2011 International CES Best of Innovations Award in Eco-Design and Sustainable Technology.

In addition, the Orange is supposed to be up to 20 times more efficient than comparable solar chargers. For every hour of direct sunlight exposure, the Orange delivers up to two hours of cell phone use. Its large lithium-ion polymer battery stores enough power to charge three smartphones, or four regular cell phones. The battery can also be charged from another power source through the device’s USB port. The Joos Orange is available for $139.99 directly from JOOS.

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).