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06-24-2011, 05:07 PM #1
Power Your iPad with the Sun Using Voltaicís Spark Solar Power Case
If youíre planning on going somewhere really remote this summer and wonít have access to any AC outlets while youíre away, then you might want to consider bringing along a solar panel to recharge all of your portable devices. Voltaic, best known for backpacks that incorporate solar panels, has just released Spark, a solar powered case designed primarily for the iPad. Spark can also charge a wide array of other devices via the USB port included on its battery pack as well.
Spark features an 8.0 Watt Solar Panel to generate power and includes a high capacity 11,600mAh battery pack. Voltaic claims that for every hour of direct sunlight, youíll get about an hour of use out of your iPad. These specs are actually quite impressive compared to other comparably equipped solar panel device chargers.
According to Voltaic, ďOn the front of each bag are four two-Watt solar panels configured in parallel. With solar, charge times are determined by the amount and quality of the solar cells. The solar panels use high-efficiency monocristalline cells on a lightweight surface encased in a clear coating. Together, they will charge an iPad in about 10 hours. The panels are waterproof and built to withstand the abuse of everyday use.Ē
The sun may be the ultimate power source, but until the technology matures to the point where itís cheap and easy to use, it will mainly appeal to the outdoorsy type. Although Spark is a step in the right direction, it will set you back $300, almost as much as the iPad itself.
People would be more inclined to use solar power to recharge their devices if it wasnít so prohibitively expensive to do so. Nevertheless, Voltaicís Spark is an impressive solar case that will keep an iPad juiced up even if you get stranded in the middle of a desert.
06-24-2011, 05:11 PM #2
Wouldn't this cause the iPad to overheat?
06-24-2011, 09:51 PM #3
Nice article John. Hopefully this technology becomes more efficient and cheaper soon as $300 is still steep. However, like you said, if an outdoorsy person wants to use this then merely using your iPad while plugged into this in direct sunlight should theoretically offset any power consumption unless you're doing some really power intensive stuff like GPS and gaming at the same time.
On a drive from Orange County to Mammoth Lakes I was able to successfully cause some power drain over what my 1-watt car charger could provide because I was playing music, using GPS, etc. at the same time.