Currently marketed online at SkyMall, the Travelware ET0016 Solar-powered Laptop Backpack incorporates the Konarka Power Plastic Solar Bag Panel specially developed for use in backpacks, briefcases and other consumer level charging systems. Delivering 1.3Watts with an output voltage of 8VDC in full sun, the panel doesn’t match the power output of FTL’s PowerFold but the 18″ x 12.25″ x 8.5″ bag itself contains some tricks that compensate well.
This lower output voltage actually matches up fairly well to the input charging requirements of many consumer level devices, and the “checkpoint-friendly” backpack adds an assortment of connection devices to increase the chances of a useful match to the one you own. Not only that, the case includes a storage capacitor with a level meter to reveal how much charge you’re actually carrying. That makes charging on the go a possibility, as well as storing up power without connecting your cell phone, laptop, etc. until you’re indoors and need the boost.
The lightweight 3 ounce panel isn’t the clunky stiff solar panel you’ve seen on most solar-powered gear. Konarka developed Power Plastic to bend and roll (but not yet to fold), making it practical as an outer layer in the cover of the bag. The panel is featured on two more bags at SkyMall, both briefcase styles intended for business users. The Traveler’s Choice Travelware ET0120 Computer Messenger Bag and the Traveler’s Choice Travelware ET0115 Checkpoint Friendly Briefcase provide the same capacitor-based power backup and connection system.