Solar energy is healthy
for the environment and now fashionable too. In a world driven
by technology, students nowadays have a multitude of electronic
gadgets that they carry on the go. Wouldn’t it be great
if those devices could be charged any time without having to
search for an outlet? On the market now are solar backpacks.
I wanted to be the first to try it out, but unfortunately I haven’t
been able to test one yet. The biggest issue is the cost,” said
HPU business major Julius Vea.
Since 2004, companies, such as Voltaic Systems and Eclipse Solar
Gear, have been selling such innovative products. The bag is
fitted with solar panels that absorb sunlight and convert it
into energy that will power small electronic devices.
The bag is not only stylish and convenient, but also lightweight— weighing
less than five pounds. It is made with UV resistant materials,
is nylon padded, and has a high-density foam interior that can
withstand rigorous outdoor activity.
Although it is powerful enough to charge most portable electronic
items such as cell phones, iPods, and PDAs, one major disadvantage
is that it is does not yet produce enough power to charge a laptop.
As a struggling college student, I can’t just buy anything,” said
Vea. “I would rather upgrade my 2-year-old laptop than
buy a bag that can’t even charge one. True, I’m asking
for a lot, but so are the manufacturers!”