It’s amazing just how much we take our technology for granted. We groan when we realize we’ve forgotten to charge up a mobile device, but electricity is usually just a plug away. In disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, the safety net of mobile tech and the power it gives us to communicate is ripped away as soon as your batteries run out.
Simple mobile recharging technology can not only help people out during natural disasters or blackouts, but could also assist users in Third World countries, where cell phones are often the only means of a greater connection to the outside world. A German company named Sonnenrepublik (Sun Republic) has produced a possible solution to this problem with its Clicc mobile photovoltaic cells.
A Clicc is a 4 x 4 cm square that produces about 35 mA. Each cell housing is designed kind of like Lego, allowing multiple Cliccs to be snapped together to produce more power.
If 4 cm still seems too bulky for portability (I’m pretty sure I could fit that in my pockets), the company also offers a Clicc Lite, which is small enough to fit on a keychain. According to Sun Republic, the Lite version produces enough energy to directly charge a mobile phone for use for up to one hour.
Below you’ll find a video about Germany’s investment into solar energy.