The Little Sun Charge, a solar­-powered phone charger, is finding success on Kickstarter. The project was launched as a part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4All), originated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, which aims to ensure global access to modern energy services by 2030.

The Little Sun Charge is powered entirely by solar power and charges phones in less than five hours. Other conventional solar-powered phone chargers require between eight and twenty hours to charge a phone. The device is barely larger than a smartphone and uses a USB port, so it can power other electronic devices as well.

While marketed on Kickstarter for travelers, hikers, campers and freelancers, Little Sun Charge has particular relevance for those who live off-grid. With this device, phone ownership is a greater possibility, as those individuals could have a means to power their phone. Currently, 1.1 billion people live without access to electricity.

The project was initiated by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Danish entrepreneur and engineer Frederic Ottesen.

The Kickstarter project has a fundraising goal of 50,000 Euros by the end of September; it is currently at 40,000 Euros and is expected to meet its goal. Proceeds from the project go towards support solar power initiatives in Africa and the SE4All Initiative.

Little Sun Charge is the second Little Sun project; the first was an LED lamp. 200,000 of these Little Sun LED lamps have been distributed in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan and the United states in addition to 10 African countries, including Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Both devices aim to support sustainable energy initiatives in Africa, especially solar entrepreneurship.

The charger is expected to be released in March 2016 at a retail price of 120 Euros. ­

– Priscilla McCelvey

Sources: Climate Action Programme, Wired,
Photo: api.ning