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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Tech Update

Air Date: Week of

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GRABER: Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of electricity to turn on a lamp or power a computer for research. Until now, in really remote places, batteries supplied this power. A lot of batteries. Now, a company has designed the first portable solar power generator. It fits in a backpack, weighs about 24 pounds, and converts sunlight to electricity, and stores the power in a rechargeable battery pack. When fully charged, the battery pack can supply current for 14 hours of the attached light or three hours of computer time. A few hours of sunlight will recharge the unit. Researchers trekking off to Antarctica have purchased these portable power sources to juice up equipment like computers. And relief groups have expressed interest to help supply basic electricity needs and perform such vital tasks as powering water purifiers. That's this week's technology update. I'm Cynthia Graber.

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.(Music up and under: Jeff Fahey, "The Last Steam Engine Train")



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