Looking for a low, LOW voltage boost converter in a tidy package? Dimension Engineering's LVBoost is just the solution!
What's the LVBoost do? Simply put, it takes a low voltage, and makes it higher and much more useful. There are many ways to do this, but the geniuses at Dimension Engineering have done a great job at doing this efficiently and in a tidy package. Of course, nothing comes for free, so what you are doing is converting extra current capacity into higher voltage. The LVBoost does this conversion while only losing ~15% of the energy - very nice! When it's just sitting there, it's only chewing up ~0.4mA - very little current.
What this means in a practical sense is that the LVBoost takes a voltage as low as 0.5V (like most large-ish solar cells put out), and can turn it into a useful voltage level adjustable between 2.2V to 5V, up to 1A output (assuming you have enough current in your source). It's also a tiny device, only weighing 3.5 grams.
These sorts of characteristics make the LVBoost ideal for boosting & regulating alternate power sources like small wind, solar, hand or hydro generators. Or plug it into one or two high-capacity alkaline cells to get a convenient 5V power source in a tiny package. This device will easily generate you some geek cred if you build it into something like a hamster-powered cellphone charger.
Here's the dirt on this neat device: