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How to Power Gadgets While in Nature

I spent three days camping and hiking in the mountains of Utah last week and used my iPhone to snap the above photo while slightly downhill from the summit of Mount Timpanogos, which has an elevation of 11,749 feet.  In preparation for this trip, I researched for a sustainable, backpacker-worthy solution to keeping my iPhone powered in order to take photos, jot notes, listen to music, and maybe communicate with family when presented with an available signal.  I don’t have an iPad, but this solution works for both iPhones and iPads, either one.  Here’s what you need:

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2.5 kW Ground-Mount Solar Kit by Schletter

It’s surprising how easy it is these days to line up all the components necessary for a residential-scale photovoltaic array. Solar panels can be purchased on Amazon (among other places) and tracking systems are readily available, too. If you have the land or your roof isn’t right for your needs, Arizona-based Schletter makes a ground-mount kit for up to 2.5 kW of solar PV and it can be purchased for under $1,000.

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Roofs Do Double Duty with Dow Shingles

Since I last shared photos of the Dow POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle, this line of business has picked up.  In October 2011, the Solar Shingle launched in Colorado, and Dow expanded the launch to Texas and California in April 2012.  As part of the launch, this commercial — lazy roof — aired recently to show these markets how Dow is helping to reinvent the roof so that it not only provides shelter but power, too.

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