July 13, 2009 AT 12:00 am

Inventor creates solar-powered recharger from an Altoids tin

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Solar MintyBoost still making the rounds! Project here

Kelty got the idea for the solar-powered charger from the Minty Boost, a $20 charger powered by two AA alkaline batteries. It’s called the Minty Boost because it is also housed in an Altoids breath mints tin. But it had its shortcomings.

“The problem is, with an iPod Touch or an iPhone, the battery in an iPhone is so big that it will deplete the batteries [in the Minty Boost] and you’ll only get half a charge,” he explained.

To improve upon the Minty Boost, Kelty replaced the AA batteries with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery and added a small solar panel. The solar panel recharges the internal battery, which in turn recharges the iPhone.
“The idea is that you can leave this out in the sun during the day while you’re using your phone, or whatever device, and at night time, plug your phone into it and you’re good to go,” Kelty said.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the post! I sent a quick note to the author that it can be used for a lot of other devices and to check the MintyBoost web page.

    I also got my XBee kits the other day- thanks! Can’t wait to have some fun with wireless. :)

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