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including powering refrigeration. There are now three closely-

related versions, with power storage via battery capability as

the feature that distinguishes the different models. Weight

ranges from 60 to 75 pounds. Each model measures 30 inches

by 33 inches and is about five inches thick. A strong shoulder

strap fastened to either end of the generator’s top edge—just

like the strap Gramm saw in his dream—makes for easy

transport by a single person.

Responding to a question about the product’s durability,

Gramm opened the slender, black, suitcase-like device, laid

it open on the floor, and stepped onto the flat, shiny solar

collection component. The panel is dark with what looks like

skinny wires visible inside the panel. And it’s rugged. That

attribute was reinforced when Gramm jumped up and

down on the panel—there was not a trace of

damage. After he re-folded the case, snapping

it shut like a laptop computer, he forcefully

smacked his closed hand several times against

the thick, hard plastic covering the generator’s

exterior skin. “We make them extremely durable

and mostly foolproof,” Gramm proudly explained.

“We also make them simple to use, so just about

anyone can use it without having to read directions.”

Tapping into the clean power of the Forty2 is

indeed simple: Grasp the male end of a power cord or

plug and insert it into the generator. There’s no churning

of gears, no whirring of a motor. The power is created and

delivered silently.

The Forty2 produces 160 watts of electricity, offering 24

volts of DC voltage and up to 1,000 hours of service. The

all-important power storage system uses lithium ion batteries,

similar but much smaller than the type of batteries used in a

Tesla automobile. Users can plug in and run electrical devices

immediately. The unit’s potent storage system ensures that

users can enjoy electricity long after the sun goes down. Cost

ranges from $1,750 for the basic Forty2, to $2,250 for the

Forty2 pro, to $2,750 for the Pro+. Each unit has two AC

outlets and a single USB port.

Gramm’s idea of helping others by providing them with

clean, portable electricity is nuanced and respectful. “When

we go to people in a developing nation we do not tell them

what to do or what they’re missing by not living in a so-

called developed nation,” he explained. “The people we meet

in places like Haiti or Sierra Leone don’t view themselves as

living without things we call amenities. We respect that. We

simply show them the Forty2 and ask them if they can think

of what they might be able to do if they had our product. We

ask them to define their need and use, and they always do.”

Approximately 85 percent of Peppermint’s

sales are to overseas customers, with a good share

of that business coming from foreign governments. During

the same week he was interviewed, Gramm and Peppermint

entertained visitors from three African nations interested

in purchasing the company’s portable electricity generators.

Gramm is working to broaden the company’s customer base

to include more charitable organizations, such as the Bill

and Melinda Gates Foundation. A number of non-profit

organizations have acquired generators not only to serve

their own power needs, but also to serve the needs of people

in areas served by their missions. “We can definitely help

charitable organizations pursue and satisfy their missions to

help people,” said Gramm, before noting that more than one

billion people lack access to electricity. “There is no shortage

of prospective users,” he explained.

Indeed, sales are steadily increasing, Gramm declared, as

more NGOs, governments and agencies, and other types of

customers learn about the product. As of mid-October 2014,

Peppermint had sold about 1,500 Forty2s.

Pam Plasier is executive director of Mission-Haiti, an

evangelical organization that administers programs for the

elderly and for general medical and educational purposes, as

well as providing a ministry and missionaries in Haiti.

“We have been using Forty2s for more than a year now,”

said Plasier. “In Haiti, we can go days without the government

giving us electricity so we use them for things as simple as


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