A little company called SunPort has launched a crowdfunding campaign that could change the clean energy game in a new way. SunPort is a smart device that looks like an ordinary outlet extender, but it does something pretty spectacular. This smart little gadget lets you power anything with solar energy without the need for solar panels. It’s completely portable, too, so green-minded techies can take advantage of renewable energy at home, at school, or on the road, all with one little plug.
The SunPort’s Kickstarter campaign launched late Tuesday and is aiming for $75,000 to finalize testing and put these smart solar devices into production. The SunPort works in a unique way, letting users “upgrade” their energy usage to solar power by buying solar credits. Whenever and wherever you’d like to utilize clean energy, you plug the SunPort into any existing electrical outlet and use it to run any kind of technology you choose – your laptop, stereo, coffee maker, you name it. The SunPort communicates wirelessly with an app on your smartphone to record the power usage and automatically purchases matching solar credits.
This is similar to the way that large corporations offset their energy use with solar, but scaled down to the individual level. Although solar power is cheaper than ever before, it’s still out of reach for many people and solar panels aren’t exactly portable technology. While this smart little device can’t actually feed pure solar power into your laptop, the SunPort does allow individual users support solar power in other places, ensuring that more renewable energy is added to the grid.
According to SunPort founder Paul Droege, the SunPort is an economical way to support clean energy even if solar panels are out of your budget. “For a laptop computer, it’s probably in the range of $1-$2 a month, and it could be considerably less,” says Droege. “The cost is really very small.”
Through the Kickstarter campaign, 250 early bird backers can snag one SunPort outlet for a contribution of just $39.