Portable power banks easily fit in our pockets these days. Solar panels are a different story. You need a lot of panel to really absorb enough light to be worth it. Danish start-up InfinityPV plans to create the best of both words with HeLi-on: the world’s most compact solar charger for all your devices. I’m a big fan of sustainable energy and tech so I’ve been quite excited about HeLi-on for a while.
HeLi-on started its life on Kickstarter and smashed its target within days. The campaign is over now but pre-orders are still open to get your own when they ship in July. The charger looks like any other battery pack. It’s a 11.3 m-long cylinder that easily fits in your pocket but inside it contains a large solar panel that can be rolled out when needed.
The charger can be used in a few different ways. Firstly, there’s a battery in the cylinder that can be used like any battery bank. You can charge HeLi-on using any USB power source, be it from the mains or a computer. This means you can then charge your phone straight from the battery, no solar panels required. The solar panel can be used in two different ways: it can charge the battery to be used later as a battery bank, or it can directly charge the device connected by USB.
HeLi-on should fully charge your smartphone or the battery pack itself in 2-3 hours. The reason I really like this is that it’s not just a solar panel; it’s also an ordinary battery bank that you might carry around anyway. So why not carry one that you can keep topped up while sitting in the park? I like that the solar panel can charge your device or the battery bank and that HeLi-on is always a functional backup power source even when you aren’t able to use the panel.
You can pre-order HeLi-on for 685 DKK (£71.09) with free shipping.
Main image © InfinityPV