In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, millions on the East Coast were left without power for weeks. Generators were at a premium, and a gasoline shortage in New Jersey even forced the government to respond with a National Guard fuel distribution effort. It’s a testament to human decency that people were able to adapt and come together despite the chaos, sharing their generators and putting together public mobile phone charging stations. Yet it can’t be ignored that the crisis highlighted the fragility of the system on which so many depend.
To this picture, enter Suntrunks.
Electrical engineer and inventor John Wennstrom had disaster relief in mind when developing the Suntrunk, the spark coming to him after he witnessed the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. The idea was simple: a portable, durable solar generator that could be set up easily, within minutes. Several bulky prototypes later, Wennstrom had created a full line of Suntrunks:The project now has a Kickstarter, but unfortunately at this early stage of development even the smallest Suntrunk is a pretty expensive reward: $1000 will get you the 10 watt model, while $5000 will reward you the largest available, a 135 watt beast. To supplement the campaign, Wennstrom is offering a range of electrical appliances and tools (an LED table lamp, electrical appliance meter, etc) as rewards for those who don’t have thousands of dollars to drop but still support the idea.