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Solar mat charger goes on a roll

Brunton's latest product can be carried in a coat pocket.


It may be getting easier and cheaper to harness the sun's energy, but all too often the equipment needed to do so isn't the most portable. At least one manufacturer has figured this out, however, and is apparently responding to that inconvenience.

Brunton started shrinking its solar chargers a year ago with its "SolarPort" and is continuing its weight-loss program now with the "SolarRoll," according to Newlaunches. As its name indicates, the latter is basically a mat of solar panels that can be rolled up and carried around in a bag or even a coat pocket, not unlike some rollaway keyboards we've seen.

The company says the SolarRoll, which comes in three sizes, can even charge a car battery. But judging by the weather these days, we wouldn't recommend trying it until spring.