When it comes to grid reliability or limited access to affordable electricity, we often find ourselves discussing the plight of those in Africa or other developing nations. Here in America, we’ve got lots of energy, lots of electrical sockets, and lots of devices to plug into them. Only when a storm knocks out the power do we stop to think about how much harder our lives would be without this luxury.
Although America may have fairly reliable electrical grid, it doesn’t always mean we can afford that power. Recent statistics show that the average electricity bill in the U.S. has grown to $163 per month, and many are desperate for ways to reduce their consumption. A few years ago, San Francisco-based company Fenix International developed the ReadySet Solar Kit to help solve Africans’ energy problems. Now, Americans are begging them to bring it home.
We’ve featured lots of off-grid charging devices in the past, from solar-powered generators to camping pots that can juice up your phone. They’re all awesome, but they share a common limitation–there’s usually only one way they can gather energy. The ReadySet Solar kit, on the other hand, can charge from a variety of different sources including solar panels, bicycle generators, micro-wind turbines, and more.
“We designed the ReadySet with an open standard input (bind posts and banana plugs) so that it will work with alternative sources of power generation,” write the designers. “We also chose open standard outputs (12v Car Lighter Adapter and 5v USB) so that hardware developers can create new applications, including anything from UV water purifiers to Vaccine Refrigerators.”
The device has been successful in Africa, and the company thought using a Kickstarter campaign to make it available in the U.S. would be a great way to gather funding necessary to further their philanthropic work. The campaign has already blasted through its $20,000 goal, but there’s still time to get in on the action.