Are you ready for the storm?

Menlo Park, CA.
With 2012’s Superstorm Sandy still fresh in the country’s mind, it’s no wonder that preparedness is a top priority for families and individuals nationwide. Solar JOOS recognized this essential requirement for not only feeling safe, but actually having the tools to accomplish powered security in a time of need.
Thousands of citizens lined up to charge cellphones on the streets of New York, New Jersey, and beyond; and those were the ones that could make it out of their apartments and houses. When the batteries were dead, they had no way to power their devices back up to usability.
Solar JOOS recognized this as an enormous problem, and already has the solution to give peace of mind.
The Solar JOOS Orange
The JOOS Orange is the most reliable, rugged and powerful personal solar charger on the market. Charging 3.5 times faster than any other for the same price, it will charge in low light, shade, rain, and even underwater.
When fortunately there is no emergency, the JOOS is a convenient way to make sure you don’t have to rely on outlets to charge your smartphones, cellphones, tablets, MP3 players, GPS devices, cameras and more. Boasting two hours of talk time for just one hour of charging, it’s a quick, efficient way to make sure you can keep in touch with family, friends, coworkers and anyone else that you need to contact.
Specifics and technology of the JOOS Orange:
The built-in high capacity battery allows for charging either through a USB port or with sunlight.
• Charge time: 12hours direct sunlight/8hours USB
• Internal 5400mAh Li-po battery holds a charge until you need it
• Battery charge and PV power indicator LEDs
• Dead battery circuitry allows direct charging even if the battery is completely drained
• Fold out legs facilitate optimal solar capture
• Internal circuitry tracks how much solar energy you’re capturing and lets you view it in real time with myJOOS application – available for Windows and MAC
• Dimensions: 8.6″X5.8″x0.8″
• Weight: 24oz
About SolarJOOS:
SolarJOOS has been featured on local and national news, and in magazines and publications worldwide. In August 2011, Fox News featured a hurricane preparedness review of the JOOS Orange demonstrating its durability and water resistance. Gizmodo and Wired Magazine gave the JOOS Orange high ratings calling it “the physical manifestation of simplicity. It’s rugged, easy to store and carry, and (most importantly) quick to bestow a watt or two whenever you need it.” U.S. Airways also featured the JOOS Orange on the cover of its magazine, touting it as one of the Top 12 Tech Tools.

President Obama mentions facts from our Solar JOOS blog during his State of the Union speech

During this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama used in his speech, facts from our Solar JOOS blog which were provided to us by GTM Research.
In our article “Solar Statistics for 2013,” we provided a fact given to us by GTM Research that every 4 minutes, a new solar system is installed in a home or business. We wrote, “2013 saw a shift to the U.S. becoming a global leader in solar. At our current pace, every 4 minutes, another American home or business goes solar.”
President Obama stated, “we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too. Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar.”
We’re glad to see the president is putting the focus on the importance of solar energy in America by bringing up these facts and figures in his State of the Union speech. If President Obama is interested in any other solar energy facts, we’d love to provide them to him or direct him to the real experts over at GTM Research.

What is MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) and why does it matter with solar?

MPPT ChartMPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) charge controllers are a commonly found component in today’s battery-based renewable energy systems although they’re not commonly found in the smaller, portable solar chargers. The JOOS Orange from Solar Components is different—it has a proprietary MPPT circuit that allows the small, portable device to achieve amazing efficiency and charging capabilities not found on competing products.
But what exactly is MPPT? MPPT control reduces wasted energy by operating the photovaoltaic solar module at its higher MPP (Maximum Power Point) voltage and lower MMP current, instead of the lower power obtained by connecting the photovoltaic directly across the battery terminals. This higher voltage in turn helps to keep price down, especially when the PV wire runs are long because the current is lower for a given amount of power.
Raising the controller’s PV limits higher gives a buffer for when part of the PV cell becomes shaded by trees, clouds, or poles. We want to keep the MPPT voltage above the battery voltage as much as possible and MPPT allows us to do that.
MPP tracking efficiency has also improved to almost 100% accuracy. Algorithms that can quickly scan the entire I-V curve of the PV array from battery voltage up to Voc (Open Circuit Voltage) ensures that the correct MPP “bump” is chosen from multiple possible power points with as little time away from the correct power point as possible.
So now that you understand what MPPT is and what it does, you may be wondering why Solar Components would put such powerful circuitry in a small, portable solar charger. The reason is simple: “When we set out to design and build the JOOS Orange, we wanted a device that was light years ahead of our competition and more importantly, we wanted a solar charger that would actually work,” said Mark Sherwood, the company’s president. “With our proprietary MPPT circuitry, we are able to offer a more efficient and technologically advanced product than what our competition is able to offer, for about the same price.”
The JOOS Orange can be purchased by itself for $149, or as part of a bundle that includes the JOOS Orange, PowerBoost Reflectors, and a sturdy neoprene protective case for $175.

Five countries you probably didn’t know were going solar

Mongolia has historically been a nation of nomadic herdsmen, far removed from city life, and their decision not to settle in one place has made it hard to establish any sort of infrastructure in the region. When your home itself is transient, it’s hard to find power to plug into. This has changed thanks to a program by the World Bank where small, portable, solar panels have been given to some 500,000 individuals, roughly 50% of Mongolia’s rural population. The World Bank claims that some of the benefits of this access to electricity include safer lighting, and the ability to get weather reports as well as market prices in distant locations via television or mobile phones.
Many people in Kenya are without electricity and this makes them an ideal candidate for distributed solar programs. In some villages, individual families have purchased solar panels for their homes, while others have selected to test out larger village-scale utility systems called ‘microsols’ that provide power, heat, and clean water to villages with up to 1,000 inhabitants. These large scale PV projects have a lifespan of 20 years, produce 50 megawatt-hours of electricity per day, 1,000 cubic meters of water, and about 800 magawatt-hours of heat energy per year.
Guatemala is only 900 miles from the U.S. border, yet 520,000 people who live here, live without electricity. How can a country with such great history tracing back to the ancient Mayans be so far behind when it comes to basic utilities such as electricity, and what is it doing to fix that? Guatemala is a rugged country and many places lack paved roads, or where there are paved roads, they may be damaged from the heavy rains and flooding that bombard certain regions. All of these factors keep many people off the electric grid but over the past few years, private companies have been investing in setting up solar PV projects in the regions without power and that trend is beginning to grow.
The company Sunfounder, recently gave a $10,000 loan to finance 450 units of solar lighting and mobile phone chargers. With this investment, nearly 1,800 individuals stand to benefit from the loan and the environment benefits by reducing 60,300 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
One may not expect Fiji to be on this list, however, it is because of its unique layout of many islands, making it hard to have a central grid to provide power to all of the islands. This is beginning to change as Kyocera is partnering with the Fijian Department of Energy to bring power to 2,000 households that previously never had reliable access to power.
Do you know of other countries that are taking strides to enhance their electric grid with solar? Share them with us at outreach@joos.net!

Solar Statistics for 2013

closeup view of solar panels2013 brought with it a breath of fresh air to the solar industry by breaking records and setting the stage for some big things to come. While it’s still a bit early to call solar photovoltaics “mainstream,” we’re getting closer and closer to that point. We’ve compiled a list of some solar industry statistics of 2013 that really show just how far we’ve come, as well as how far we still need to go. Take a look at these statistics and give us your feedback, or, a statistic you know of that we didn’t include.
4 minutes
2006 – In 2006, U.S. solar installers were putting up a new PV system every 80 minutes.
2013 – 2013 saw a shift to the U.S. becoming a global leader in solar: At our current pace, every 4 minutes, another American home or business goes solar. This is a huge jump from where we were just 7 years ago.
By 2016, it is estimated that a new solar system will be deployed every 80 seconds.
To go from 80 minutes to 80 seconds in just 10 years is no small feat and it just goes to show that mainstream solar is fast approaching.
(Update: In his State of the Union speech, President Obama mentioned the fact that every 4 minutes another home or business goes solar. Thanks to GTM Research for providing us with that fact and thank you to President Obama for using it in your speech!)
100 gigawatts
2011 – The global solar industry had 50 gigawatts of capacity installed.
2012 – By the end of 2012, it had surpassed 100 gigawatts, doubling the capacity in just one year.
By the end of 2015, global solar capacity is expected to reach more than 200 gigawatts. In just four years, we could easily quadruple our solar generation capacity.
2.5 years 
The 100 gigawatt number is an important benchmark as it took nearly 40 years to get 50 gigawatts installed. In just 2.5 years, however, two-thirds of all solar PV projects were built worldwide.
10 gigawatts
In the third quarter of 2013, the U.S. installed 930 megawatts of solar generation, surpassing the 10 gigawatts of cumulative capacity. With these numbers, the U.S. joins a small group of other countries, four to be exact, that have reached this milestone. For the first time in 15 years, the U.S. will likely install more solar photovoltaics than Germany when 2013 comes to a close.
51 percent
The solar market has historically been dependent on state-level subsidy programs, however, California has begun phasing out solar incentive for residential projects. According to GTM Research, 51 percent of residential PV systems were installed without the help of the California Solar Initiative. This is impressive as it shows that even without subsidies, people are still willing to make the financial commitment to go solar.
$0.70 per kilowatt
Net metering continues to be a hot-button issue in the world of solar as more and more states continue to battle the issue out. This fall, the Arizona Corporation Commission agreed to a compromise in order to preserve net metering, charging solar owners $0.70 per kilowatt a month. People in the solar industry are now wondering if this will set a precedent for other states to follow.
$0.36 per watt
China beat everyone to the punch by taking hold of monocrystalline production and in turn being able to charge whatever it wanted for the solar cells it was manufacturing. However, since 2010, top Chinese manufacturers dropped monocrystalline solar module costs by 54 percent and are on a trend to produce solar modules for $0.36 per watt by 2017. China is able to do this by refining their processes and automating their plants to reduce labor costs.
59 percent
Twice this year, Germany’s wind and solar installations provided 59 percent of power in the middle of the day, while also providing more than a third of generation throughout the entire day. On one occasion in October, solar peaked at 20.5 gigawatts of capacity and wind reached 16.6 gigawatts, with both providing more than 436 gigawatt-hours of electricity. That forced 23 gigawatts of conventional power plants to ramp down. We’re not quite there yet here in America, but we’re pushing to get there and every year brings advancements in technology and access to affordable photovoltaics.
Germany’s second biggest utility, RWE, has lost one-third of its value over the last three years according to The Economist. In light of this, RWE has begun to embrace the reality of solar, announcing that it would become “a project enabler and operator, and a system integrator of renewables” based on a “prosumer” business model.
64 percent
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the non-hardware costs of residential solar installations now account for nearly two-thirds of the total system cost, up from 50 percent in 2011. These costs include labor, supply chain logistics, permitting, and customer acquisition.
$1 billion 
If the U.S. solar industry is going to hit the 362,000 installations in 2016 forecast by GTM Research, it will spend more than $1 billion to get the customer leads needed. That amounts to $0.49 per watt, or about 10 percent of the total cost of an installation. To deal with this expense, leading solar companies are developing new project management tools, crafting new sales strategies, and buying up lead generation companies. GTM Research’s Nicole Litvak sees customer acquisition as one of the most innovative areas of solar in the U.S.
25 percent
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 25 percent of residential and commercial rooftops in America are suitable for solar. This reality creates a big opportunity for crowdsourced and community solar projects, two models that has been steadily gaining traction in the U.S. This also shows that home builders need to be aware of the potential that the home owner may want solar and design the home and more specifically the roof, to allow for a future PV installation.

Are mobile solar chargers worth it?

joos-webWe all like the idea of being environmentally responsible and doing our part to ease the strain on the electrical grid while creating a level of resiliency with our emergency power needs. One way to do that, of course is to get a portable solar charger to keep your electronics running in the event of a power outage or natural disaster. But is it really worth the money to buy such a solar charger? The answer is ‘yes” and “no” because to answer this question, we first need to do our research on the different solar chargers to weigh the pros and cons of ownership.
Cnet.com wrote an article a couple years ago asking this very question. In their story, they only analyzed mobile solar phone covers that snap on the back of your cell phone and provide solar energy to charge your phone. Clearly, their article determined these types of chargers were not worth the money because in order to get 20 minutes of talk time, you had to position the phone at a 90 degree angle to the sun, for an hour.
Now compare that for a moment to the JOOS Orange personal solar charger and battery. That same hour in the sun will give you 2 hours of talk time, not 20 minutes like the inefficient snap on covers. These numbers make the JOOS six times more efficient, and, you don’t have to point the JOOS directly into the sun at a 90 degree angle thanks to the JOOS’ proprietary low-light-charging circuitry.
But what about a larger solar charging system like one of the Goal Zero products, for example? While these larger products look appealing, looks can be deceiving. You see, what sets the JOOS apart from its competition is its portability, efficiency, and ease of use. Instead of lugging around a fold-out solar array and a separate battery pack like you would with the Goal Zero products, the JOOS is a solid, one piece design that houses not only a highly efficient monocrystalline solar cell, but also a 20 watt hour battery.
Finding the right fit for you can be a daunting task but to start, ask yourself what you’re looking for. Do you want portability, with ease of use and dependability, or do you want a cumbersome, yet equally efficient fold-out array with separate attachments? Can you get by with a snap on solar case for your phone and get 20 minutes of talk time for each hour holding your phone to the sun, or would you prefer something that gives you 2 hours of talk time for that one hour in the sun?
At Solar Components, we feel the JOOS Orange is in its own category because to date, no one has been able to produce such a portable, efficient, and easy to use solar solution to your everyday charging needs. You can pick one up today for just $149, or buy a Bundle Kit which includes a case and reflector kit for only $175.

Is your disaster preparedness kit ready?

Disaster Preparedness SurveyWhen Hurricane Sandy pummeled New York City last year, it left thousands of people without electricity. When Winter Storm Dion and Cleon hit Texas and the plains states just a couple weeks ago, the massive ice storm left hundreds of thousands without power in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
One way to be prepared for these storms and the aftermath is to have an emergency preparedness plan in place. Your plan should include the obvious (food and water) but what about things like a radio, a flashlight, your cell phone, a 2-way radio, and so on? What about the batteries needed to power them, and a way to recharge the batteries when they run out?
You see, many people have a basic preparedness plan in place, but few people actually have all of the necessary items to get through the power outages and aftermath of a natural disaster.
One of the most commonly overlooked items are our electronics, batteries, and a way to recharge the batteries. A cell phone could be your only lifeline with the outside world but once your battery runs out, it’s worthless. Having a portable battery with a solar cell attached to it, like the JOOS Orange, is an easy, affordable, and resilient way to complete your disaster preparedness kit.
Right now at Solar Components, we have a very cool deal going on called the “JOOS Bundle” which includes the JOOS Orange portable solar charger and battery, our high-efficiency reflector panels, and a protective neoprene case to keep your JOOS and panels safely together and protected, all for only $175.
This is a limited time offer so be sure to take advantage of it today!

Clean-tech buzzwords of 2013

RenewablesEvery year it seems, we hear a new set of words to describe a particular event, movement, or industry. We call these, “buzzwords,” and here is our list of buzzwords for clean energy in 2013:
The term “resiliency” first rose to fame after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Clearly one of the most overused words of 2013, it has become a catchall for all things relating to strengthening infrastructure.
For solar energy, this means more solar grids and less reliance on the traditional forms of electric generation and a smarter electrical grid in general.
We stress this concept at Solar Components by offering the JOOS Orange so people can strengthen their own personal electric grid and be prepared in the event of a power outage or natural disaster.
This is a relatively new concept in the world of solar energy but in 2013, more companies began the process of securitization by forming asset-backed securities. In November, SolarCity announced the first offering ever of securitized solar for distributed PV.
With the lack of long-term data and standardization, the process of securitization is a slow one, and one that will take years to gain traction. We won’t have energy efficiency securitization by 2014, but it’s definitely on its way.
Change management
Older people in the utilities sector will tell you one of the hardest parts of changing over to a new source of power is change management. Verizon spent billions of dollars beefing up its infrastructure and changing over to a fiber optic based network and like Verizon, the utility industry will need to do the same thing with these new modes of electricity generation. With solar, wind, hydro, and other clean energy sources, change management has been a long road and we still have a long ways to go.
Intelligent efficiency
We all want to save energy, after all, it lowers our electric bill and makes us feel good knowing we’re helping to keep the cost of electricity down and put less stress on the electric grid. After a while though, the message begins to fall flat.
“With dramatic advances in web-based monitoring, real-time data analytics and utilities using peak pricing, that hidden resource is now becoming something tangible: an asset that companies can measure, manage, procure and sell,” writes Stephen Lacey. Efficiency and demand-side management are starting to merge, both in our biggest buildings and in our homes.
Like the term “resiliency,” “decentralization” is often used in the same speech about the importance of compartmentalizing and strengthening our means of electric distribution.
Enter the world of microgrids: Microgrids are mostly limited to neighborhood schools, universities (UC David, for example), and DOD projects, to name a few, but that is beginning to change.
Microgrids are smaller grids that can operate on their own, while still being tied into the larger grids on a regular basis. This type of technology allows schools to stay open and function when the power goes out, and the military and government agencies to function in the event of a natural disaster.
Over in the solar world, there is a movement toward using smaller inverters or trackers to reduce the effect of the failure of a single unit, said MJ Shiao, solar market senior analyst with GTM Research. This is driving the push for commercial 3-phase string inverters in the U.S. and string inverters in large-scale solar globally. “We’ll continue to see this theme catch on in 2014,” said Shiao, “especially in the power electronics and moving pieces in solar projects.”
Utility death spiral
There is no sugar-coating what’s happening in the utility industry. Many executives would say that we all still need warm showers and cold beer, and most of us will need the grid for those energy needs in the foreseeable future. But who is left paying for an updated grid is certainly up for debate, and there is a real possibility that some utilities — perhaps hamstrung by sloth-like regulators — will simply be left holding the wires.
Financial innovation
Securitization, one of the buzzwords of 2013, is just one financial innovation that has come to the clean energy market.
Solar leasing is already changing the market at a significant rate, while REITs (real estate investment trusts) and MLPs (master limited partnerships) are a couple more more examples of investment vehicles that will help renewable energy even more.
“The clean energy sector has traditionally been defined by technological breakthroughs,” writes Stephen Lacey. “But now that technologies have matured to a level where investors feel comfortable, financial breakthroughs may just be the most important market driver.”
Grid edge
Large-scale transmission projects are changing the way we produce and use energy. Distributed generation, primarily rooftop PV, is probably the most obvious current disruptor, but energy storage, electric vehicles, microgrids and even more flavors of demand response are coming down the road.
Net metering
A buzzword and hot-button issue all in one, is the term “net metering.” Net metering requires some regulated utilities to reimburse customers at retail rates for the solar energy they send to the grid from their rooftop PV’s and microgrids. The battle rages on in several states across the U.S.
While some states are more progressive with this idea, like Arizona and California for example, with its AB 327 bill that kept net metering in place, other states like Texas, don’t even consider it.
The decisions in Arizona and California will influence the outcome in other states in 2014 and beyond but be prepared for a long, hard fought battle to get there.
A “prosumer” is generally considered someone who is both a producer and consumer of electricity, usually in the form of having some sort of solar PV on the roof of their homes or business.
As solar energy generation becomes more affordable for prosumers over the next few years, expect to see more PV systems being installed on people’s rooftops, carports, and yards.
We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the clean-energy buzzwords of 2013. Have a clean-energy buzzword we didn’t share on our list? Email it to us at info@joos.net and we may include it in another article!

UC Davis West Village: On the way to becoming a 'Net Zero Energy' community

UC DavisThe University of California, Davis, West Village, the nation’s largest planned zero net energy community, racks up an impressive list of achievements in its initial year of review. The first formal analysis of West Village shows that even in its initial phases, it is well on the way to the ultimate goal of operating as a ZNE community.
The report released today from UC Davis, and its partner West Village Community Partnership LLC, outlines major milestones including West Village producing 87 percent of the energy it consumed in a one-year period — well in advance of the project’s full completion.
“West Village is what a sustainable energy future looks like for California and the rest of the world,” said Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Program co-director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“Its commitment to comprehensive evaluations like this one is an important part of the good example that the community is setting for the rest of us.” Cavanagh, a renowned authority on energy policy and conservation, is also vice chairman of California Clean Energy Fund and member of the National Commission on Energy Policy.
WVCP engaged energy consulting firm Davis Energy Group to evaluate the project’s energy consumption and production over a 12-month period from March 2012 to February 2013. The report also highlights the many “firsts” West Village can claim including Sacramento City College Davis Center, the first community college center built on a University of California campus.
The prototype University Hub, a new concept aimed at fostering better collaboration among research groups and accelerating the transfer of university inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace, also calls West Village home. The Energy and Transportation Hub located in the community now plays host to several research centers and creates a “living laboratory” to develop energy and transportation technologies.
“This report is a summary of tremendous accomplishments and provides a roadmap to enhanced sustainability,” said Sid England, assistant vice chancellor for environmental stewardship and sustainability. “West Village is a grand experiment with ambitious goals and we look forward to working closely with our partners to reach the pinnacle of energy efficiency.”
While West Village continues to garner international recognition, most recently with the 2013 Urban Land Institute Global Award of Excellence, several other research investigations are under way at the site. The Honda House, a high-tech sustainable home filled with a smart-grid Honda Energy Management System, will demonstrate an innovative approach to meeting the state’s goal of requiring all new residential construction to be ZNE by 2020.
The second annual report, to be published in winter 2015, will highlight new and related advances including the opening of the Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester offsite at the former UC Davis landfill, and the beginning of WVCP’s energy use and efficiency educational program for residents of West Village.

Boeing Subsidiary Spectrolab Sets New Solar Cell Efficiency World Record

Example of Gallium Arsenide Solar Cell
Example of super-high-efficiency gallium arsenide solar cells on a satellite.

A new world record was recently set when Spectrolab, a Boeing subsidiary, produced a solar cell capable of converting 38.8 percent of solar energy into electricity, more than any other ground-based solar cell not using concentrated sunlight.
The record was verified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. This new record beats the company’s own previous world record by 1 percent.
While the cost of such a high efficiency cell is likely in the hundreds of dollars, it does show an advancement in solar cell manufacturing technology—technology that trickles down to other companies, and on to consumers.
JOOS Orange Santa Cruz
The JOOS Orange personal solar charger

We are excited at Solar Components because our personal solar chargers use some of the highest efficiency solar cells available on the market today. Our monocrystalline cells are capable of collecting sunlight at an efficiency approaching 20 percent, much higher than the 8-10 percent efficiencies seen on competing products that utilize inferior ‘thin-film’ solar cells.
In fact, our product is even featured as an example of a high efficiency solar product on Wikipedia. Click here to read the Wikipedia page.

Marine Corps veteran, Justin Mentzer, summits Mt. Kilimanjaro with the JOOS Orange

Marine Corps veteran, Justin Mentzer successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro with his friends and the JOOS Orange portable solar charger. The JOOS proved to be the highlight of the trip, providing much needed power for Justin and his friends who needed to charge iPods, camera batteries, and other devices. Realizing the importance of the JOOS, four of Justin’s friends vowed to purchase their own when they got back to the states. Justin also got to experience how efficient the JOOS Orange is by seeing it charging in his tent just from the ambient light from the Sun shining through the tent fabric! Read his full story below:
JOOS Support,
First,thank you again for donating this unit to my cause. I was successful in summitting [sic] Mount Kilimanjaro and with the help of the JOOS, I was able to document the whole trip. As for the unit itself, this is my review. The primary purpose of using this unit was to be able to charge my lithium battery for my new Nikon AW100 camera. Since the battery has to be charged via a battery pack, outside the camera, I was unable to charge it. Thankfully, this happened during preparation before the trip. I was able to contact JOOS and they referred me to a universal lithium battery charger that was able to be overnighted to me from Amazon. On a side note, that universal charger is incredible. I am able to charge almost any lithium battery that exists. 
Going through security at the airport with the JOOS in my carry-on was an experience. I had to take the unit out (like a laptop) and place it on a tray by itself to be scanned. The security staff questioned me as to what the unit was to be used for. After a brief explanation, the security staff gave me a weird look andsent me on my way. On the airplane, I did not have a reason to use it but, many people were complaining on the 20 hour flight that their electronics were dying and had no way to charge them. They should have had a JOOS!
On the trail, the unit was almost flawless. I would place it in a mesh outer pocket of my daypack as we hiked and any time we stopped for lunch I would set it in the sun. At camp, I would usually leave the JOOS in the tent. To my amazement, it would still charge inside a four-season tent when the sun wasshining. I was able to fully charge my lithium camera battery, a couple of Iphones, and an Ipad. Most of these were from other climbers in our group. Everyone was so amazed by this unit that 4 of the climbers said they were going to purchase a JOOS as soon as they got back to the states. 
The durability of this unit is enough for active military units, if it was not white in color. I hiked through rain, sleet, snow and sub-freezing conditions and did not have a single performance issue with the unit. The only slight flaw I discovered was that it took a long time for this unit to fully charge. I am still experimenting with how long this can take. I will continue to use this unit on all adventurers and travel. Thanks JOOS I could not have done it with out you.
Justin Mentzer