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I Take It Back – The Solar Bag is Actually a Good Thing

So I poked fun at the order cialis vs viagra Solar BBQ and solar bag earlier today. But recovering a little perspective from what tech writer Matthew Sparkes has to say after trying to take his gadgets off grid, I have to unpoke the bag…and maybe the BBQ, though I still find that silly.

In a fit to prove to colleagues at PC Pro that running gadgets on green energy is possible, practical, and more than ready for today’s consumer – even foggy London dwellers – Sparkes decided to try out different methods of powering his electronics with solar, wind, and human-powered chargers.

Tacking on a HYmini (hybrid between wind and solar energy generator) to his bike to generate wind power, Sparkes was able to charge his cell phone…about half way, but enough to keep it running. To get more energy, he added the Freeplay FreeCharge to his artillery and replaced his iPod with an Eco Media Player from Baylis – but the hand-cranking was a pain. To be expected. Finally he tried portable solar panels. The Powermonkey-eXplorer gave great results, charging his phone on non-biking days, with extra energy to power his MP3 player, all while foldable and light enough to cart around.

While he found that he could renewably charge his gadgets, ditching the ease of plugging in to readily available power means sacrificing exactly that – ease. In other words, there are products ready for us to generic cialis for sale use to renewably charge our hand-held devices, (less readily) our laptops, and so on. But there is still a lot of where is propecia manufactured work to do online ordering viagra to make charging up renewably as easy – and as cheap – as charging up from the coal- and nuclear-powered grid.

Despite putting in work to power up, Sparkes ends on viagra sale prices this note: "Taking one small gadget off the cialis available in india grid may not seem like a big step, but it's the thin end of the wedge. In five years' time, let's hope people look back and wonder why that bloke from PC Pro thought it was such an achievement to never plug a gadget into the wall."

It is a heartening note, reminding us that each penny adds up to a full piggy bank. So the solar bag is cool. At least cool enough for now, while I keep in mind that more is coming down the line.

Via TreeHugger, PC Pro

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Comments (7)Add Comment
Small Scale Solar
written by gmoke, August 01, 2008
I have had my own solar backpack for years now. It cost me $45 to solarize a regular backpack which supplies my bike lights and auxiliary power. My bedroom has been essentially off-grid for years now as well with solar LED lights and a solar/dynamo radio which also charges AA batteries. That cost me less than $200. I could do it for less than $150 today.

For over a year, I've been trying to contact somebody in the US government or NATO to leverage the hundreds of thousands of solar/dynamo am/fm/sw radios they've distributed in Afghanistan into a low voltage DC electrical network by modifying the solar/dynamos so that they can charge batteries beside the internal hard wired battery dedicated to cheap canadian viagra powering the levitra samples in canada radio.

You can see video of my devices at

Please note the date.
@Small scale solar
written by fedor, August 01, 2008
Re 'leveraging' the solar/dynamo radios. Perhaps the Afghanis don't want their radios to be 'leveraged' and they are happy with them the way they are.

Wouldn't it be better to 'leverage' some of the money from poppy/opium sales to fund the DC electrical network? The concept isn't new, since the US has done this in the past to fund arms for right wing insurgents in Latin America.
written by gmoke, August 03, 2008
By leverage I mean adding another circuit and a blocking diode to charge standard size batteries like the AA batteries that fit in the battery bay of the radios. This is buy viagra overnight a simple modification that could provide income for local workers and allow for battery switching.

Here's a video that shows how to do the canada viagra prescription modification on the Grundig model. Kaito is another manufacturer whose radios have been distributed in Afghanistan.

Sorry you don't understand the concept. My understanding is that the Taliban have resumed control of viagra endurance most of the opium market these days but I could be wrong.
Getting all MP3 players off of the grid
written by Alex, August 03, 2008
Seriously - with all of the major changes that need to cialis 10 mg happen in the power producing sector, wouldn't if be a far better use of resources to take that $300-$500 (and more) spent on these "gadgets" and put that money into a renewable energy coopertive, or invest it into a company that has a chance on actually lowering the carbon footprint of many. These are consumer items, nothing more, and are symbolic only. Do you think they produce these gadgets without producing greenhouse gases as well. How about the delivery?
Less Productive or Counterproductive
written by Ryan Baker, August 03, 2008
Solarizing gadgets only green effect is some funding toward research. Solarizing gadgets only makes sense when it in increases convenience.

If it's more of a pain to charge from a backpack than a wall, take the more productive route and put a solar panel on the roof.

The bag will be used occasionally.. when a battery is dead and you're willing to put up with the just try! 100 mg cialis inconvenience. The rooftop panel will be used whenever the sun shines, and likely has a much better kwh/$ ratio.

Can't buy a rooftop panel? If you can't afford it, how can you afford a solar bag? If you just aren't legally allowed, then put the money into efficiency improvements.

Already done all of those? Buy stock in a company that makes solar panels. A greater portion of levitra online without prescription your investment will make it into the R&D budget than if you'd bought a solar bag, and if your either lucky, smart, both, or just a fair approximation of either you'll end up with a profit too.

If you lose it.. well take comfort that the money was probably wasted on research, which is important even if it fails as long as someone learns something (even if it's just what not to do).
Let's not be so quick to dismiss alterna
written by taureau, August 04, 2008
I find this whole idea of "poking fun" at solar gadgets condescending and short-sighted. Yes, it's true that these gadgets are, for the most part, mere consumerist items. But it's also true that most Americans own at least one gadget item (if not an mp3 player, then certainly a cell phone). If we can introduce that section of the population to the idea of alternative energy sources by teaching them first to power solarize their gadgets, doesn't that serve a productive purpose?

I don't think we should be so quick to dismiss the impact that these types of gadgets can have, especially on the awareness of the individual consumer who ultimately have to buy into the viability of renewable energy as the way of the future.

P.S. Sparkes is on mexico levitra the right track with the Powermonkey eXplorer. I got one a few months ago, and have since used it almost exclusively to charge my iPod, cell phone, and digital camera. Well worth the investment I'd say. I got mine here:
Texas-sized solar
written by T Boone Pickens, August 05, 2008
I didn't get to be the owner of the entire state of Texas by buying no petroleum backpacks! Ya gotta think big, my boy, big! A beanie with a propeller on the top ain't wind power, and a backpack with PV ain't solar power!

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