Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun has decided to go off the grid, the power grid that is.
He’s taking his phone and handheld devices off of AC power and going to try and use solar power to charge them up for 60 days. I both admire Kevin for his effort and I also wish him well.
Kevin is going to be using a product I’ve taken a look at here, the Solio Classic Hybrid Charger to grab and store up some juice from the sun. In fact, I’ve looked at both the Solio Classic Hybrid Charger and the Solio Hybrid H1000. (Those links take you to Inkshows and shortcuts about the two devices.)
Both work as advertised, and they will indeed grab and store some juice from that big ball of burning energy in the sky, assuming you’ve got great placement that puts the charger in good, direct light. In my experiences with both of these devices, they worked well in spells of sunny weather, but I have to say that if I was relying on them to give me a charge up, I would have to be hoping for extended periods of good clear skies.
Again, I will say that the products work as advertised. In my experience they served me best when I was going to be on a long driving trip and I had one or both of the chargers juiced up and ready to go before hand. I did this on two occasions last winter/spring on my travels and they kept my handhelds charged up nicely on those long trips. But in both instances, I had prolonged periods of sunny weather before departing, and even so, to keep them fully topped off, I relied on plugging them in to store up some juice before leaving.
I’m not knocking the products or Kevin at all. In fact, I’m applauding Kevin’s efforts (and all of his efforts at working green-Go, Kevin and family!) In my experiences, these devices are best used in their hybird form when you can plug them in as well as rely on mother nature. As a principal source for charging, my experiences tell me that’s the way to go.