Here Comes the Sun: And Your Laptop’s All Right

Have you ever been on a desolate mountain, hiking all day up until you reach the summit where you’ve dreamed of reaching you’re whole life, only to realize you have no batteries for your camera to record the vision for posterity? Or have you ever been lost in the Amazon after your prop plane made an emergency landing, but luckily you have a sat phone on hand-except again, you have no batteries? Don’t worry, there aren’t that many headhunters left in those parts. 

It’s for these situations-outrageous yet fully within the range of today’s adventurers-that Brunton developed the SolarRolls, as well as boring, everyday travels through the great outdoors. SolarRolls are rugged yet flexible solar cell power sources that can be used with most any portable electronic device, from cameras and cell phones, to video recorders and, why yes, laptops. They can even charge car batteries.

In the “olden days”-just a few years ago-travelers would have to lug around and rely on heavy solid cell batteries for a similar backup power system. SolarRolls, though, are so-called “amorphous” solar cells, meaning you can literally roll them up without fear of harming some hardened part. They are also waterproof. They are made of something called Tefzel fluoropolymer.

The largest, SolarRoll 14, is 12 inches by 57 inches rolled out, but weighs in at only 17 ounces. It can crank out a max 14 watts, so it’s the one you’d want to charge your laptop when you’re camping in the Rockies (or hanging out at an all-day music fest). There is also the SolarRoll 9, at 12 inches by 40 inches, which cranks out 9 max watts, good for cell phones and cameras. The smallest, the SolarRoll 4.5, measures in at 12 inches by 22 inches, weighs only 6.4 ounces, and cranks out-yes, you guessed it, 4.5 watts-perfect for cells phones, crackberries and the like.

If ever you happen to be stranded in a glacier in Greenland with every single portable device on you, all of which need to be charged, never fear. You can connect multiple SolarRoll panels together to up their wattage. At the time of writing this product is selling for $479, however, for the latest prices and more information on this solar charger check out

Related article:

Fuel Cells to Power Laptops?

By Matthew Brodsky – Laptopical

Wednesday, August 29, 2007