Suntrica logoSuntrica has developed numerous solar-powered chargers for phones, ipods, cameras and other electronic devices.  These provide consumers in developed markets with a portable environmentally-friendly power supply and people in emerging markets with a reliable way to charge their devices in areas where there is little or no electricity

This review was written by the legendery Duncan McLeod and appeared in South Africa’s Financial Mail.

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Financial Mail – Mobile sun charger april 2009 Mobile sun charger 

How many times has your cellphone’s battery gone flat at the most inopportune moments? It’s happened to all of us. Worse, you could be out in the bush without access to electricity, or on a five-day hiking trip across the Drakensberg. Anything could happen out there, and a fully charged battery could save your life.

The SolarStrap, developed by Finland’s Suntrica and introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, is an ingenious solar-powered cellphone charger ideal for these situations.

The 60 g device uses the sun to charge its battery – but it can also be charged via USB or the mains. Simply connect a phone using the correct power adapter – a wide range of adapters is included in the box – to give it a quick charge.

The SolarStrap – which is robust, highly flexible and water resistant – can easily be attached, using its Velcro strips, to a hiker’s backpack, a mountain bike’s handlebars, or even to a pants belt.

However, the really exciting application for the SolarStrap is not for Sandtonites at leisure, but rather for people in emerging markets who do not have a reliable electricity supply. Because the device is cheap and robust, it could sell millions of units in Africa.