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Spor: A Portable Solar-Powered Battery Charger For Your Smartphone

by Felix Omondi

For long, harnessing the sun’s energy has been crippled from reaching its optimum level. Due to the necessary technology like solar panels and its associated parts being either too bulky hence not portable, the technology itself being inefficient making it the less preferable source of energy or simply the cost of producing the solar cells were just too high.

But over time, innovation and creativity have changed this. Currently, there are numerous solar harnessing technologies that have been able to overcome the above challenges to harness solar power to the optimum level. One such technology has been embodied in a small portable solar-powered battery charger dubbed the Spor.

The Spor is a fuss-free and compact battery charger fitted with miniature solar panel that is set to revolutionize the way smartphones users can charge their devices while on the go. If you have used a smartphone for a while then you probably know how fast all its “smart” features and capabilities drains the battery. Some of us have to charge our phones twice in a single day, and we are restricted from venturing out so far or for so long away from a wall outlet.

With Spor, these challenges are overcome. Probably you are asking yourself, what’s so special about Spor that I can’t get from dozens of other brands of portable solar-powered battery charger already in the market. Well you can get yourself a solar-powered battery charger all right, but what Spor brings you is a less boring solar-powered battery charger which is nowhere close to the other generic models. We are living in a very fashion-conscience age after all. Some of us won’t be caught dead in possession of some lame-looking things, even if it’s a tech-gizmo whose sole purpose is to charge our smartphones.

Spor charger has a shell that can be customized with a home 3D printing, if you are into that; making it much cooler and customized to suit your fashion, taste and preference. It has body dimension of 8.2×8.2×2.4 cm tacking away a 5,300mAh battery which promises to juice up any gizmo you plug into the two output ports. (You can charge two devices simultaneously). All this is made possible by its monocrystalline solar panel which charges the Spor’s battery passively. Its miniature solar panel can harness energy when out in the sunlight and even when you’re indoors and the lighting is bright enough.

Spor: A Portable Solar-Powered Battery Charger For Your SmartphoneThe Spor also gives you the option of charging its battery by plugging it into a wall outlet, just like you would to your spare battery pack. Only difference is, the Spor can self-charge if you shine some rays on it. Currently, Spor gives out 1 amp of current which is the standard in the market, but the manufacturer intends it to increase 2 amps. You can also daisy-chain multiple Spors thereby building up a great capacity and have more power output.

The average Spor takes about 1.5 hours to charge an iPhone to full capacity. If you chain up multiple Spors, the charge rate won’t change but you can juice up more devices in tandem. When it comes to charging up the Spor itself, it takes 2-3 hours to charge when plugged into a wall outlet. If you charge it exclusively on sunlight it would take 50 hours, yes not quite so speedy but a reliable option to fall back to if or when you don’t have access to electricity. The Spor particularly presents a great opportunity for developing market crippled with lack of or unreliable electricity supply.

The team behind Spor are working on larger solar panels that could be used in conjunction with Spors to make a small-scale solar grid. If successful, this technology could bring a cleaner, off-grid distributable energy to developing markets. The larger solar panels could be a hub for charging multiple Spors which can be used on an individual level, effectively giving portable energy.

David Hunt, Spor co-founder said, “A micro grid could consist of just a 5w panel technically and would cost somewhere between $20-$30 for a developing market. This would be cheaper than setting up some of the more complicated village wide micro grids that use centralized storage and power lines to connect each dwelling. Giving each dwelling a Spor for storage and use would give each village autonomy over their own energy generation and use”.

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