Horizon announces versatile Sunbox solar power charging system

People who are trekking in the wilderness, stranded at disaster sites or living in developing nations all have one thing in common – lack of access to an electrical infrastructure. Solar charging devices such as the Solio, iCharge and Joos Orange have been designed to meet the needs of some or all of these groups. One of the latest such systems, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies’ Sunbox USB 3.0, is particularly versatile.

The Sunbox gathers solar energy through a 1.8-watt waterproof photovoltaic panel. Whenever the sun is shining, that panel automatically starts charging the power system module, via a 3-meter (9.8-foot) cable. That module incorporates a 6-volt 3,000 milliampere-hour battery, two USB ports, and an LCD screen that displays the battery’s level of charge. A full charge requires 6 to 10 hours of sunlight. (more…)


SteriPEN Freedom offers USB-powered water purification

Water purifier manufacturer SteriPEN has updated its lineup of portable products, with a UV-based unit called the SteriPEN Freedom. Billed as the smallest, lightest and first rechargeable UV water purifier on the market, it disinfects up to 16 oz (0.5 L) of water in 48 seconds.

We’ve previously covered numerous water purification solutions for the developing world, with LifeStraw, Moringa tree seeds, or even banana peels being notable examples. The new SteriPEN device, however, is defined as hiking and camping equipment by its manufacturer, rather than as a life-saving tool.

The Freedom features a germicidal UV light which destroys 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Forty-eight seconds is enough for the Freedom to deal with half a liter of water, while a liter simply requires repeating this operation. A green light gauge indicates when it’s safe to drink the water.