The power of the sun is probably the most promising alternative power source mankind has available nowadays, as it is both quite cheap (although solar-powered devices are still far from being very affordable) and quite eco-friendly. This is the reason why the people from Earthtech have put together in the first half of 2007 the Solar Laptop Charger & Portable Power Kit, an assembly that can provide power for a user's portable computing system for up to 6 hours.
The kit incorporates two equally important components, namely the 25 Watt Sunlinq Foldable Solar Panel and the XPower Powerpack 300 Plus. The first component is a flexible, foldable and durable (weatherproof) solar panel that incorporates CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) solar cells laminated onto an urethane material that feels and acts like rubber (hence the device's enhanced level of flexibility). The second component is a 300 Watt portable power inverter & battery that can provide up to 300 Watts of output of portable electricity and backup power.
The kit put assembled by Earthtech is quite versatile and efficient. Thus, the 25 Watt Sunlinq Foldable Solar Panel will completely charge the 300W PowerPack in approximately 11-12 hours of direct exposure to sunlight (which is practically impossible to achieve in normal conditions) providing up to 6 hours of runtime for a notebook that requires 25 Watts in order to operate, while 5-6 hours of sun (the average amount of sunlight normally available) will charge the PowerPack halfway for 3 hours of runtime.
Even if its marketed as a portable power solution for laptops, this assembly can be used for powering other devices as well, namely any other 12 Volt or 115 Volt device, ranging from hand-held blenders, fans, computers, laptops, clock radios, and small power tools to emergency lights, TVs and radios.
The the kit from Earthtech retails for just around 478 US dollars, which is significantly less than the price of the two main components put together.