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October 07, 2012 10:32 AM

Solar Device Looks To Add Outlets To Remote Spots

sioux falls, sd

South Dakota entrepreneur Brian Gramm was tailgating outside a college football game one sunny day when he wondered why he couldn't use that energy to plug in a radio.

The first-world inconvenience led him to develop the Forty2, an all-in-one "utility in a box" that Gramm now thinks could change millions of third-world lives.

The device from Peppermint Energy looks like a quadruple-sized laptop computer.

Gramm, of Sioux Falls, says it can generate and store enough solar power in a remote African village to run a dorm fridge filled with medicine, a couple of fans and a dozen LED lights.

The company is set to produce 250 first-run Forty2s, which will ship to 18 different countries. It raised more than $83,000 for the venture on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

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