Truly Mobile - Portable Solar Power
Energy is a case of "water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink." The sun light that is all around us is energy in its purest form, yet we go about stumbling on archaic technologies that use fuels with dirty and polluting byproducts. Until now. The folks at Waka Waka Power decided to tap in to the sun's rays during daylight hours and extract the energy we need to power some of our most common mobile devices. For once, we do not need to go hunting for a socket somewhere just so we can plug in our "mobile" device. The fundamental philosophic question inherent in the Waka Waka idea is this, if you have to tether your device to the wall socket, is it really mobile? Well, at least that's the way Camille van Gestel looks at it. He sees energy everywhere, and he sees society craving for mobility, he put two and two together and got WakaWaka Power - a compact solar power station and light.
How it works is that it takes ambient sun light, even in high latitudes, and it charges itself all day. When you need to give your iPhone or iPad or any other mobile device a boost, just plug it in and it will top up the power you need. The idea was such a hit that it took kickstarter.com by storm. over 5,600 backers coughed up $419,000 to see this design become a reality. His idea is superb on many levels. Not only does it do the obvious like using the sun's energy to aid in mobile communication, but he also decided to add a reading light to it. So, it's like something stored the light during the day then released it for use at night to read - almost a modern day Edison, wouldn't you say?
Camille and his team are setting up a facility in Haiti as a way to help the community get back up on its feet. They will use local manpower in the assembly of the product and they will use part of the funds raised through kickstarter to install solar lights in homes that have not had light since the earthquake three years ago. Ordinary men can do extraordinary things after all.
Tabitha Jean Naylor