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by Rena Fulgencio, staff writer

 

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!”

 

 

 

 

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