Energizer's Solar Recharger looks, at first glance, like a confused device. Is it an iPod battery extender? AA charger? Solar adaptor? Well, it's all of these things, which is why it's awesome.
The heart of the gadget is a simple battery charger, intended for regular rechargeable AA and AAA batteries and primarily powered by an AC jack and assisted by a flip-out solar panel. A USB port is capable of providing power to a connected gadget, which allows the Solar Charger to also act as a sort of extended battery for virtually any USB-powered device, iPods included.
By choosing cheap semi-disposable rechargeable batteries as the guts of the device, Energizer will reportedly be able to keep the price down at a reasonable $US50, 2 AAs included. Considering additional features like weatherproofing and a rotating solar panel, the Solar Charger could turn out to be a cheap, viable alternative to the endless droves of device-specific battery extenders and pricey solar chargers that are floating around for the time being. The official announcement is expected at CES 2009. [GoodCleanTech via CleanTechnica]