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Sep 11, 2015 4:44 EST

Little Sun Charge: a solar phone charger by Olafur Eliasson: Little Sun Charge is a high-performance solar phone charger and light designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen.

iCrowdNewswire - Sep 11, 2015

We are all connected by the sun

Our actions have consequences for the world. Little Sun is a wedge that opens up the urgent discussion about bringing sustainable energy to all from the perspective of art to raise awareness about energy access and the unequal distribution of energy today.                                                                            – Olafur Eliasson

Olafur's iconic work 'The weather project' for the Tate Modern 2003
Olafur’s iconic work ‘The weather project’ for the Tate Modern 2003

What is Little Sun Charge?

A beautiful, high-performance handheld solar phone charger and light, designed by artist Olafur Eliasson.

A work of art that works in life, a great solar energy product and a social business in one.

Little Sun Charge prototype, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
  • Offers a full smartphone charge from 5 hours of sunshine
  • Works with all of your existing mobile devices and cables and uses a standard USB port.
  • Great for outdoor use. Hang it from your backpack and it will charge all day while you’re out and about.
  • Phone charging and a solar light wherever you go, whenever you need it!

Greetings from Little Sun Charge creator, Olafur Eliasson:

Olafur with the Charge prototype in his Studio
Olafur with the Charge prototype in his Studio
 
 

Since we launched Little Sun, our global solar art project, three years ago, we have lived by the philosophy that we all share the sun.

The sun’s energy is powerful enough to be available to every single one of us on earth in the form of clean and sustainable energy.

Light is for everyone – it determines what we do and how we do it.

Light and life are inseparable. I have always considered light to be more than just something practical. Light touches our feelings.

In my artworks I use light to shape spaces and environments that make people wonder, make them question how they sense the world and engage with it.

I believe that art can change the world by making an issue as urgent as energy access not just understandable for the mind but also physically tangible. This experience can lead us to recognise our interconnectivity, what we have in common, and it moves us to act.

 
Beauty, Olafur Eliasson, 1993
Beauty, Olafur Eliasson, 1993

OUR VISION

So far, the Little Sun lamp has brought light to hundreds of thousands of people, including over 670,000 people living without access to the electrical grid. 

Doual'art Cameroon. Photo: Doual'art
Doual’art Cameroon. Photo: Doual’art

Now we’re very excited to show you the next Little Sun that we have designed: a solar mobile phone charger called Little Sun Charge.

What is so great about solar technology is that it takes the sun – which is for all of us – and makes it available to each of us, no matter where in the world we are. The sun nourishes, it connects and empowers. Using sunlight, Little Sun Charge directly connects us with each other through our mobile phones.  

At Little Sun we are working tirelessly to make this solar technology available to as many people as possible, embedded in beautiful designs. 

Her first Little Sun. Photo: Merklit Mersha
Her first Little Sun. Photo: Merklit Mersha

Who is Little Sun Charge for?

It’s for anyone who wants a smart, beautifully-designed and environmentally-sound way to charge their phone.

Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun

It’s for all of us: for those of us who want a way to charge our mobile phones on the go. Also for those of us living off-grid with no reliable way to charge our phones.

For example, Little Sun Charge is perfect for:

  • Travellers and freelancers who need to charge their phone or mini camera wherever life takes them. 
  • Hikers, campers, cyclists or all those who love the outdoors. It’s perfect if you’re using battery-consuming GPS. 
  • Take it off-grid and it will double as a charger for your phone as well as a great nightlight
  • Or simply take it with you to your favourite cafe to charge while you chat with your friends or work. 
  • You can also use it to charge your mp3 player so your whole crew has music wherever you go.

Free yourself from the grid!

Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun

Why Kickstarter?

You have the power to make Little Sun Charge a reality here with us on Kickstarter. Be one of the first to own a beautiful, artist-designed solar phone charger – and become part of a global solar energy project.

Little Sun has always worked by the belief that we are stronger together.

Our ideals of compassionate global togetherness and energy access for all resonate with the community spirit of Kickstarter.

Because the Charge is based on cutting-edge technology, it makes sense to launch it via a digital and social platform

This Kickstarter campaign will help Little Sun bring a beautiful solar phone charger to you. At the same time it will also further Little Sun’s mission of bringing sustainable energy to all.

Little Sun Charge prototype testing in Zimbabwe, July 2015
Little Sun Charge prototype testing in Zimbabwe, July 2015

Where are we now?

Olafur and our team have designed and engineered this beautiful prototype. Now we need YOU to join us on Kickstarter to take us from prototype to production.

If you back us on Kickstarter, your contribution will enable us to produce our first batch, ready for market by March 2016.

The Little Sun Charge prototype is designed and ready to order.

To get us to this point, the prototype has gone through many design iterations. 

We have:

  • researched and found the best solar cells.
  • found the perfect battery.
  • spent days (and nights) with our design team at the factory.
  • tested the prototypes in Europe and in Africa. 

We are now ready to present the perfect Charge to you.

With your funding we will:

  • finalise the production preparation 
  • go through the necessary certification processes 
  • source all components and parts 
  • make the final tools 
  • begin making our specially laminated solar panels 
  • set up the production line

All units for our wonderful Kickstarter backers will be delivered to you as our top priority, as soon as they are ready at the factory! We are excited!

Become a solar ambassador and be one of the first to own a Little Sun Charge. Let’s bring this life-changing Little Sun Charge to YOU and to the people who live without access to energy through Kickstarter.

I hope you’re just as excited as I am about our mission!! – Olafur

Early Little Sun Charge sketch
Early Little Sun Charge sketch
Little Sun Charge 3D render, August 2015
Little Sun Charge 3D render, August 2015

Your rewards

Your rewards!
Your rewards!

When you back us on Kickstarter, you also become a crucial part in bringing Olafur’s next ‘work of art that works in life’ to the world. We’ll thank you for your involvement and generosity with rewards such as:

  • The very special opportunity to own an original hand sketch by Olafur Eliasson.
  • The chance to be one of the first to own a Little Sun Charge at a great price
  • The option to supply Little Sun solar lamps and chargers to our partner Alight Zimbabwe, so you can play a part in sharing the sun with the world.
  • Plus many more!

All rewards are accompanied by a heartfelt squawk of gratefulness from our parrot!

OUR DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

The story of Little Sun Charge began when we saw how many solar phone chargers there are out there that take 20 hours to charge, and we wanted to radically change that – for everyone with phones that are always running out of battery – and for those living off-grid with no reliable way to charge.

A few words from co-creator, engineer Frederik Ottesen:

Olafur and Frederik in Berlin, July 2015
Olafur and Frederik in Berlin, July 2015

Our solar solution is Little Sun Charge: a top-quality, portable, high-performance solar phone charger. 

Olafur insisted that it had to be beautiful and resonate with a vibrant energy, reflecting the core value of Little Sun to share happiness and light. 

Little Sun Charge 3D render
Little Sun Charge 3D render

And from an engineering perspective, I made sure that Little Sun Charge:

  • contains real power 
  • uses a fantastic solar panel that is large enough to fully charge a smart phone after only 5 hours in the sun, but is still small enough to be portable
  • uses solar cells are from US company SunPower – in my opinion the best on the market
  • uses specially laminated solar cells for our strongest Little Sun solar panel yet
  • has a strong in-built light 
  • contains an intelligent charge monitor that allows you to always get the most out of the sunlight. 
  • uses best components to make the most efficient and powerful combination of lamp and charger that you can easily carry.

It’s perfectly calibrated solar technology that we are very proud of. It puts the power of the sun in your hand – freeing you from the grid!

Little Sun Charge, early 3D print
Little Sun Charge, early 3D print

PRODUCT FEATURES: SUMMARY

  • Little Sun’s second product in a suite of artist-designed, premium solar energy products. 
  • Offers a full smartphone charge from 5 hours of sunshine.
  • Doubles as a beautiful solar light with multiple brightness levels.
  • Boasts an intelligent charge monitor which allows you to always get the most out of the sun. 
  • Works with all of your existing mobile devices and cables and uses a standard USB port.  
  • Great for outdoor use. Featuring a rugged casing that is weather proof, water resistant, heat resistant and UV protected plus a handy light for when you’re off the electrical grid.
  • Features a 2W solar panel and LiFePO4 rechargeable battery
  • Comes with a two year warranty 
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun
Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Little Sun Charge prototype in Berlin, August 2015. Photo: Inka Recke © Little Sun

ABOUT LITTLE SUN

Little Sun is a social business and global project founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to get clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.1 billion people in the world living in off-grid areas without electricity. The project’s first product, the Little Sun solar LED lamp, is sold all over the world. Purchasing Little Suns in areas of the world with electricity makes the lamps available in off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices, where they provide a clean alternative to toxic and expensive fuel-based lighting such as kerosene lanterns.

Little Sun addresses the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities by working with local entrepreneurs, creating local jobs, and generating local profits. The Little Sun project was officially launched in July 2012 at London’s Tate Modern. Since then, more than 300,000 Little Sun lamps have been distributed worldwide, with almost half going to off-grid areas. For more information: www.littlesun.com

Our partnership with Alight Zimbabwe

(n.b: video shows the Little Sun Charge prototype: proposed batch will feature a blue ‘sunburst’).

In all our Little Sun travels, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, we meet so many people living without access to energy and they tell us again and again that they depend on their mobile phones for their livelihoods. They also tell us they have no reliable way to charge their phones – and we all know the feeling of having a dead phone.

One of Little Sun’s oldest and most trusted partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa is with Alight Zimbabwe – a community-based trust formed by young entrepreneurs who were sponsored by the NGO Plan International as children, and now work as the distributors of Little Suns in Zimbabwe. 

Alight has told us directly how urgent the need is for people in their communities to have access to solar phone chargers. Little Sun is answering that need with Little Sun Charge.

By backing Little Sun Charge on Kickstarter, you will directly impact the lives of people living without access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly through the rewards we are offering in our campaign that will allow Alight Zimbabwe to scale their local distribution.

For more of Olafur in his Studio, watch Olafur’s pre-campaign video:

 (Video shows the Little Sun Charge prototype: proposed batch will feature a blue ‘sunburst’).

Contact Information:

Little Sun

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