Goal Zero has designed portable, weather-proof solar power

| August 18, 2014

Solar power technology has evolved by leaps and bounds over the past several years. Today, scientists and manufacturers are scrambling to find newer and better ways to harness the power of the sun to produce clean energy. We’ve written before about how groups are working on bringing solar power to remote parts of the desert and other places off the grid. But solar power still has one clear limitation: in order to work, it needs the sun. Duh.

solar power

From Goal Zero.

So what do you do if you need power but the weather isn’t cooperating? A company called Goal Zero claims to have the answer: chargeable batteries that can be powered up by the sun—and store that power so they’re ready when you need them, rain or shine. And we do mean rain or shine. The folks at Goal Zero know that their batteries will be most useful during inclement weather, so they took things a step further by making them waterproof.

As Adele Peters of Fast Company’s Co.Exist writes, “If you need to charge your phone in the middle of a rainstorm inside a national park, now you can.”

The implications for this technology are huge. Theoretically, it promises guaranteed power in the most remote locations, and finally clears the primary remaining hurdle of weather.

These portable power packs have many clear uses in the wilderness and safety arenas. They can be used to power medical devices, emergency radios or GPS systems. But Goal Zero isn’t necessarily marketing to folks who plan to be in the middle of the jungle for months on end. They know that many people can’t break up with their technology even for a simple weekend camping trip or a long day at a music festival.

And the power generated is more than enough to make an emergency phone call (or enable a not-so-emergency check-in on social media). When fully powered up by the sun, Goal Zero’s power packs can “charge a smartphone three times, a camera five times, or boost a tablet’s power by half.” The power packs can be left out in the rain or even dropped in a puddle and still work according to plan.

This isn’t just a nascent concept for a product, either. Goal Zero has already released two of the new batteries, which are available on their website. We’re excited about the idea of clean, greenpower anywhere, any time. The only thing these power packs can’t do is improve your wireless signal so you can actually make that phone call…

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Category: Recycling programs

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Ellen Hunter Gans has been writing for RecycleReminders since the blog’s inception. She is passionate about words, new media and, of course, recycling.

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