Any natural disaster that takes down the grid, reveals the importance of a mobile power source that can provide a burst of clean energy whenever required. The need for the same was realized after the Fukushima disaster and even after hurricane Sandy left people starving for even milliwatts of power to charge cellphones. Monarch Power, an Arizona-based company, seems to have taken up the challenge to come up with a lightweight solar charging system by unveiling the Lotus Mobile – a foldable solar charging system that includes 18 solar panels, which can be unfolded to resemble a flower.
While the idea was that the system can be deployed to charge electric vehicles, it can also be used to power home appliances and other electricity hungry devices in both the developed and the developing world. While Monarch Power stated that the company will go to KickStarter to raise funding, it hasn’t still done so. However, the company does say that the Lotus Mobile will sell at an introductory price of $3999, but if it does make it to KickStarter, early backers will be able to get one for just $3199.
The company hasn’t given many details about the technical specifications of the system, but do say that it follows the sun on two axes and can give 30 percent more power than conventional rooftop solar panels of the same size. Moreover, it also is less expensive since it requires significantly less structural support.