Goal Zero Brought the Coolest Solar Panels Ever to CES 2011

Jan 10 2011, 4:17am CST | by , in News | CES

Goal Zero Brought the Coolest Solar Panels Ever to CES 2011
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They look like something a modern-day Indiana Jones would use.

Solar panels hit CES 2011 in a big way. A huge chunk of the show-floor was devoted to booth after booth of solar phone cases, chargers and even laptop bags with built-in solar panels. These products were largely similar and, by and large, rather unimpressive. Most of them were very small too- unable to handle charging anything larger than a smartphone or PMP.

Not so with Goal Zero's Nomad line of folding, portable solar panels. In addition to being rugged and water resistant (the panels themselves can be fully submerged in water, just let them dry out afterwords), the Nomad line has enough variety to meet a ton of different needs. The Nomad 7 (for 7 watts max generation) is built for smaller devices. With the $140 Adventure Kit you get it and a battery that can deliver 7-10 of smartphone juice. It takes just 4 hours of sunlight to fully charge.

Anyone with a smartphone probably has a laptop or a tablet that they'd like to keep charged in "the wild" too. The Boulder 15 kit can provide 6-10 hours of laptop juice on a single charge of its battery (which takes 15-20 hours). The panels + battery will set you back $359. There's also the slightly smaller Nomad 13.5, which weighs only 3.7 lbs (to the Boulder's 15) and costs $449. It'll provide 1-3 hours of laptop juice or 50 hours of smartphone juice on a single 6-10 hour charge.

If you don't mind lugging 32 pounds of equipment around, the Extreme 350 Adventure Kit comes with a 30M solar panel and a battery that can store 15+ hours of laptop juice with a 20-25 hour full charge. It costs $769.

Goal Zero doesn't just have impressive-sounding devices. Their whole line of products, from panels to the power packs, looks awesome. They have a rough, rugged design that'll make any camping trip feel like some sort of futuristic expedition. I'll try not to over-emphasize this, because cosmetics aren't exactly a crucial part of solar power, but holy damn do Goal Zero's products look cool. Like something Batman would use to keep his BlackBerry charged.

For more information, you can check out Goal Zero's product line here.

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