Breaking their initial Kickstarter funding goal of 50 000 dollars in just a few days, the YOLK team are currently sitting at over 800 000 dollars of funding for their latest invention, the Solar Paper charger. The charging device can be described as a dramatically scaled-down, featherweight version of the solar panels you see installed on rooftops, but in a portable booklet-like form.
YOLK’s second successful Kickstarter project, Solar Paper is designed to charge any device that has a basic USB port such as a smartphone, camera, tablet or portable battery. Created particularly for on-the-go charging, the device travels easily and can fit into a pocket, slip into a notebook or clip on to a backpack.
Charging is a simple matter of opening up the booklet, exposing the panels to direct sunlight and plugging in a device with a USB cord. A small screen on top of the folding panels indicates exactly how much power is being transmitted from the panels to the connected device at all times. To add more power, a user can add another solar panel to the existing device via the built-in, magnetised silicone connectors, which are also powerful enough to attach Solar Paper to any metal surface.
One of the most innovative elements of the design is the device’s ability to reset itself when there is insufficient sunlight, as opposed to other solar-powered chargers that have to be manually reset whenever a cloud blocks out the sun. For places that don’t receive a lot of direct sunlight or for charging larger devices, YOLK recommends going for a greater wattage, which is determined by the number of panels you purchase. For this reason, Solar Paper is available in three versions – the two panel with five watts, the three panel with seven point five watts and the four panel with ten watts.