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Uni-Solar Portable Solar Electric Light Panels - Charging Laptops the Green Way

Aug 11, 2008
Aren't laptops brilliant? Comparatively equal in power to desktops, and portable, too. Take them away for weeks on end, and have access to all the same programs and applications. Its freedom personified.

Unless you forget your charger.

For - as much as you can run around with a laptop - the things still need to run on power. In the past, this would mean costly electricity bills and products that consumed high levels of energy.

But Uni-Solar are looking to change that with their 'Portable Solar Electric Light Panels'.

The chargers come in several models. At the cheapest end of the range is the 'UNI-PAC 10', which offers dual voltage charging for 12 and 24V. It can be folded down to a size of 254mm in length and 139mm in width, with a depth of 51 mm.

The 'UNI-PAC 15' and the 'UNI-PAC 34' both offer 12V power systems, but can be compressed to smaller sizes. The final folded sizes for the 'UNI-PAC 34' are still to be confirmed, but the 'UNI-PAC 15' - whilst at the same width as the 'UNI-PAC 10' - has a folded length of 236mm. It has a larger depth of 78mm.

Each model, then, can be folded into the size of a book, making it a convenient and efficient eco-friendly product.

They were originally designed to meet military requirements, and to be used in the field, so a hardy piece of equipment is all but guaranteed. As their website details:

"Solar modules for remote applications must be tough, lightweight and easy to transport. UNI-SOLAR UNI-PACs are designed for the challenge of the field. They provide power even with bullet holes or in partial shade. The UNI-PAC can be dropped, stepped on, packed and re-deployed, and will continue to operate."

It is unlikely that anyone buying the UNI-PAC for commercial use will suffer bullet damage, but it still nice to know, and certainly gives a slightly surreal piece of mind; portable equipment that hardy isn't going to break if you drop it out of your suitcase or down the stairs.

Indeed, the UNI-PAC officials know that there are other markets out there:

"Field-proven as dependable and easy to use for military units, trekkers, climbers and professional photographers depend on the UNI-PAC for field communications, emergency power and battery maintenance."

Of course, there is nothing to say that it can't also provide adequate cover for essays, spreadsheets, surfing the internet, or on-line gaming. And with the UNI-PAC 10 weighting just 2.1lbs, and the UNI-PAC 15 weighing 3.25lbs, the ability to do just those things comfortably and easily within an environmental framework is easier than it ever was.

Even if there was a freak malfunction - having withstood an attack from masked gunmen as you threw your charger down the stairs at the airport playing rugby - then the company grants five year warranty.

Yet more piece of mind.

For the environmentally minded, then, the Uni-Solar Portable Solar Electric Light Panels are a good alternative to traditional laptop chargers. And versatile as they are, they can be used for other appliances too.

Perhaps best of all, though, you can tell you friends that you own a piece of military equipment.

POW!
About the Author
Chris Woolfrey is the Solar Panels expert at EcoSwitch The environmental social network.
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