Time to switch !

17 Feb

Time to switch
… to solar energy! Even for you urban readers!
Photo 14-02-13 5 34 22 PM

Why ?
Because solar energy is good for the planet,
because it’s free to use
and because it works damn well !

If you are not climbing mountains everyday and you are more a subway surfer (like me), then you will be interested by the Switch 8.

The Switch 8 charging kit includes
. A nomad solar panel
. A switch 8 charger
. A USB cord

The charging time for the Switch 8 is
. 4 hours through the general USB
. 3-6 hours through the nomad solar panel 7 USB
. 6-12 hours through the nomad solar panel 3,5 USB

The specs of the Switch 8
. The battery is Lithium-ion (f.y.i. lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect and present a slow loss of charge when not in use)
. It weights 0,2lbs (or 90gr)
. The Switch 8 is as long as an iPhone 5 (you can hold both in your hand while charging)

I just unpacked my Switch 8 and started charging through the USB (it was raining outside, no sign of the sun!)

Photo 16-02-13 2 33 24 PM Photo 16-02-13 2 35 17 PM

. 4 blue lights started blinking to indicate that the Switch was charging
. When the 4blue lights are on, you are set to go!
. Note that you can check the charge of your Switch 8 by pushing the black button on the side

Now, let’s talk about the most important part of the kit … the solar panels.

Photo 16-02-13 12 18 02 PM Photo 16-02-13 12 24 10 PM Photo 16-02-13 12 25 19 PM

. They are small and light, they fold nicely in two to protect the inside panels
. The cover is a rugged kind of cordura and will survive many urban and rural expeditions
. The back of the folded panels shows a netted pouch with a USB plug to connect your Switch 8 and to charge it from the sun (thanks to Goal Zero to provide the USB cord).
. The kit is really handy and easy to move quickly (all is tied together, you won’t lose anything).

Now that we have discovered all the components of the kits, we are ready for the sun to shine but where do I hang the solar panels ?
. On a backpack while walking
. On a shutter
. Or flat on the ground …
Basically, wherever you want but, of course, facing the sun!

I suggest you use a carabineer (easy to clip and unclip) to hang to the many hanging spots created around the panels.

Be aware not to link your phone to the Switch 8 recharger while charging from the sun. First you charge it, then you plug it into your phone to power it.

ChaseIt Or BChased ?
ChaseIt, because
. It’s cool to charge your many electronic devices for free thanks to the sun ! Also through USB when it’s raining. You’ve got two charging devices in one.
. The kit is light and super easy to use.
. The kit is rugged and is shock resistant!

Now the big question, am I ready to ditch my Mophie and Just mobile for Goal Zero ?

. Yes, the products are full of details and are smart. The built-in USB is easy to use and I can leave 2 cables home!
. But I suggest to buy an extra Switch 8 charger so you can charge one while using the other one (told you I’m an heavy user!)

Prices
. Goal Zero 41001 Switch 8 Silver/Black Solar Recharging Kit, 81,54$
. Extra Goal Zero 21004 Switch 8 Silver Solar Recharger, 39,95$
(less than the Mophie and Just Mobile)

More about Goal Zero
Goal Zero, a three year old US-based company in Utah, developed for the pioneers that we all are and developing smart solar-power products.

. Official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook

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18 Responses to “Time to switch !”

  1. snosler March 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM #

    So glad you stopped by my blog – my mother just called me yesterday and said that a company was on the way up to bid on putting solar panels on their house – I am totally forwarding this link!!!!

    • chaseitorbchased March 14, 2013 at 6:40 PM #

      This is a portable solar solution to power whatever you need to. But this is no comparison to a home installation which require a huge investment. Happy to have discovered your blog, I will be back 😉

  2. Forestwoodfolkart April 1, 2013 at 3:27 AM #

    Solar power is awesome. The take up rate here with government incentives, was so good that the government has had to rethink this “free” power. I love it, and saw so many panels all over the German countryside when I visited there, as well.

    • chaseitorbchased April 1, 2013 at 5:42 AM #

      Same here in France for the incentive. I think the next step is portable panels accompanying you for the day.

      • Forestwoodfolkart April 25, 2013 at 12:04 PM #

        Is this possible?

      • chaseitorbchased April 25, 2013 at 2:29 PM #

        Yes! And the great thing is that it is portable

      • chaseitorbchased April 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM #

        100% possible, I’m an heavy user of electronic devises and I survive through the day thanks to solar power. I’m proud to say I’m solar powered 😉

  3. debzywebzy April 4, 2013 at 10:55 PM #

    Just curious… Exactly how much money can a person save by using this instead of standard phone chargers during the life of the solar panels? Do you actually break even with the cost of the whole kit?

    • chaseitorbchased April 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM #

      Great question! A regular external battery costs about 79$, for the difference I have an external battery that works on regular standard home plug to charge and on the sun when I’m in the wild. And that’s what matters, because I use when I’m outside running like crazy with no plugs around me.Also it’s an emergency battery when power outage that can make the difference when nobody has electricity but you.

  4. debzywebzy April 4, 2013 at 10:55 PM #

    PS: thanks for the follow! Appreciate it.

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