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News Link • Energy

ReadySet: How a Portable Power Pack Drives Dollars to the Developing World

• http://www.wired.com, By Mat Honan
Designed to provide electricity in the field and off the grid, ReadySet is a portable power station that can be charged via solar panels and other clean energy sources.

It blasted past its fundraising goal in just a day, but while it’s new here in the States, it’s been juicing phones, laptops and even lightbulbs by the thousands in Africa for more than a year. But it doesn’t just generate electricity — it also fuels the incomes of a growing number of entrepreneurs, farmers and mobile bankers. Whatever you do, don’t call it philanthropy. This little do-gooder is all about making money for the citizens of developing nations. The box doesn’t come cheap, but its return on investment can change lives.

Encased in plastic, ReadySet is about the size of a shoe box, and it stores 54 watt-hours of power in its field-ready battery pack. It has four charging ports in the front — two USB slots, and two 12-volt car lighter adapter ports to power up devices. 
 
 On the back side, positive and negative terminals let it connect to just about any power-generation source. It comes with a solar panel for tapping the energy of the sun, and a wall plug that connects it directly to the grid if you need a fast refill. But the genius of ReadySet is that you can connect it to anything: a windmill, a water wheel, a car battery, and, perhaps most importantly, a bicycle.

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