Two former PhDs in physics left their jobs at 3M, lighting out as it were, on their own to form a company around the idea of flexible solar panels. In the process, they managed to win the trust of ham-radio operators, campers, hunters and even the U.S. military. Made in America’s heartland, their products stand apart in a sea of rigid, low-cost imports. Designs include both rollable and tarp-like, foldable solar panels, with the latter ranging in output from 1.5 to 220 watts. The example shown here, a 120-watt model, includes a female car-charger adapter and, at 86.5”x 55”, can also be used as an awning. It folds down to 14.5”x14”x3”, weighs just 6 lbs., 6 ozs. and generates 15.4 volts at 7.2 amps. Optional accessories include: a 15-ft. extension cord with alligator clips; a 10 amp charge controller; an Anderson power-pole connector; and a 12-volt USB adapter. This example retails for $1,399. For more information, please check out powerfilmsolar.com.
Product Preview: PowerFilm Solar Foldable Solar Panels
What does a 50-foot NRA range for .22 rifles in Oklahoma have to do with the combat effectiveness and survival of a Marine in Vietnam? In the young life of R.S. Hildreth, almost everything.