Sun Spot

Apr 7, 2008
Outside Magazine
PowerCube Solar Generator

PowerCube! Great name, eh? For 25 grand, it should be. Washington, D.C.–based Reluminati's first-of-its-kind portable solar generator—a little smaller than a VW bug—provides clean, quiet mobile power wherever you drop it, be that your backyard, a disaster area, or, say, your crew's remote surf hideout. "Everyone from the military to international relief agencies to homeowners has expressed interest," says Reluminati managing partner Zach Lyman. Whereas most solar systems arecustom-built, finicky contraptions, the 2,220-pound PowerCube is practically idiot-proof. There are no moving or exposed parts, and you don't have to worry about any of the leaks, noises, or smells that come with burning gas. Just crack 'er open, unfold the panels, and plug in the party.

The PowerCube's three SOLAR PANELS (1) are capable of pumping out 600 watts of continuous electricity, more than enough to power lights, laptops, sat phones, fans, and a refrigerator—with plenty left over to BLEND (2) pisco sours all night long. If you need more wattage, you can daisy-chain units together. For rainy days, 12 batteries store 2,400 amp-hours of electricity—an additional bank of six will run you $12,000—plus there's an optional 35-foot telescoping, integrated WIND TURBINE (3) for $8,000. And don't worry about short circuits or inquisitive varmints: The 'Cube is completely watertight, requires a special key to open, and is made from marine-grade materials. On a "working vacation"? Opt for the WiMAX-compatible satellite uplink for WIRELESS INTERNET (4) access up to a mile away. If you're somewhere on the grid but the power supply is erratic, plug in the unit; the circuit board has an inverter to smooth out the spurts and surges of an unpredictable infrastructure.

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