DIY Solar Charger Wins United States Of Efficiency Contest

Jerome Kelty of Boulder County, CO was so concerned about how much carbon dioxide was being released into the air simply by the charging of iPhones® and iPod Touches®, that he decided to build his own solar charger for them and a range of other devices with USB ports.  He won a new 'green' Mac computer, and you win his DIY instructions for the solar charger!

The United States of Efficiency contest was co-sponsored by Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm nicknamed 'the earth's lawyer," and Instructables, a DIY-sharing site.  Kelty hopes his solar-powered charger will make a small dent in the 76 million pounds of CO2 released every year by just keeping iPhones and iPod Touches charged!



Kelty says that the building of the kit was really simple and took less than an hour to complete.  He starts with a MintyBoost Kit.  These are all the parts Kelty uses to build the charger...



The MintyBoost fits into the Altoid box...



and with a solar cell added, he's lengthened the battery life to extend to 5.5 hours or more.



Don't forget, this solar charger can be used for many cell phones and entertainment devices, not just the Apple® products.Complete step-by-step instructions, tools and parts needed, for the DIY solar charger are available at Instructables (it's free to join at the basic level.)

The United States of Efficiency contest received hundreds of entries and thousands of comments that will all be sent to the U.S. Department of Energy. The note that accompanied Jerome Kelty's solar charger submission was inspired by a bedtime story Kelty told his son one night about the Apollo space program.  Addressed to President Obama, part of the message reads:

"Americans love a challenge. We possess the intelligence, technology and spirit to accomplish whatever we set our minds to. How we rise to this challenge will define our generation. It is now the responsibility of all citizens to challenge themselves, to become makers, inventors, conservationists and political activists in order to achieve our goal. It is the responsibility of our leaders, political and industrial, to spearhead our efforts to achieving our goal. We only get one shot at this."


Earthjustice, Instructables, United States of Efficiency, via The Daily Green