Solar Technology’s latest solution, the HUBi, is proving a hit with clients wanting to bring a little bit of indoors to the outdoors, as families aim to get away from it all, whether by caravans, under canvas or afloat.
Not having the means to charge up the gadgets that have become part of daily life, or to turn on a light at night in a tent or awning, can make all the difference between heading off for the great outdoors or having to abandon the idea.
Using a small solar panel, this deceptively simple innovation allows you to power several powerful LED lights at a time, charge a phone, sat nav or tablet, run a 12v TV or air bed inflator, or run a water pump for a shower.
Boat owners, too, are using HUBi to keep lights and communications going in case of emergency, as well as providing ad hoc lighting to an evening on deck.
The device is the latest addition to our growing stable of useful daylight-powered equipment and gadgets. Following in the wake of the popular Freeloader product, this is aimed squarely at the family holiday market.
HUBi comes in two sizes: the £99.99 ‘2K’ has a maximum power storage of 2 Ah at 12V, while its beefier brother, the 10K, uses a larger solar panel and bigger battery to deliver five times that amount for £179.99 – that’s even enough to charge a laptop. And the unit’s compact size, combined with lightweight lithium-ion batteries, make it very portable kit as well as simple enough to be used by the most ardent technophobe.
What’s more, up to three of the 10K units can be linked, and extra solar panels added, to produce enough oomph to satisfy the needs of the most power-hungry family.
Each HUBi features a standard 12V automotive outlet, two 5V USB sockets and two 12V sockets for the pair of LUMi LED lights supplied. The LUMi’s, on 4m cables, are bright enough to illuminate a family tent, boat cabin or caravan awning. Extra LUMi’s are also available for anyone needing more illumination, along with a number of other gadgets and accessories such as a 12V fan, laptop adapters, extension cables and the ingenious CamCaddy universal camera battery charger.
While initially targeted at family campers, caravanners and boat owners, HUBi is likely to find many more applications. STI Managing Director, Adrian Williams, said: “It takes no great leap of imagination to see its uses in the home, garden or further afield. The portability of the unit is such that it would be ideal for use in a first-aid station, base camp or in disaster relief situations.”