Solarie is meant to power small personal items
THE SANTA CLARA
November 6, 2014
A Santa Clara MBA candidate has invented a unit intended to charge electronic devices during natural disasters.
The device, which is about the size of a beach cooler, has one solar panel and is designed to charge personal items like cellphones, laptops, tablets and radio equipment.
Marie Matiko founded Solarie Technologie, a San Francisco-based startup, to produce and develop the product, which she named Solarie.
It has a charging time of seven to 11 hours, depending on the battery size; a lockable case to store charging items and a wind-resistant solar panel.
After testing it for three years, Matiko and her team hope emergency management services, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross, will purchase Solarie.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of emergency management directors in cities and counties from across the country,” said Hailey Bazlen, a senior at Santa Clara and an intern at Solarie Technologie. “Most people seem really open to it. Some have even been using similar products.”
Timothy Hight, associate professor of mechanical engineering, said that although solar power is good for natural disaster situations, it is still an inadequate energy source.
He said solar panels can only produce power during daylight hours and cannot do so when skies are overcast or when it is raining.
Balzen said the device is not meant to be the primary power source for an area affected by a natural disaster.
“Often you’ll need a back-up generator for the generator,” Balzen said. “But what if you can’t get fuel? That’s when you would need a solar-powered charging station.”
Solarie Technologie launched a crowdsourcing campaign in September to fund development.
Contact Nicolas Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call (408) 554-4852.