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December 14, 2005

Solarjo Power Purse


Created by Joe Hynek, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University.

He developed it as part of his thesis on integrating fashion and technology.

Wrote Marissa Newhall in today's USA Today story, "Solar panels on the handbag's exterior harness the sun's rays into batteries inside the purse, from which users can charge electronic devices such as cellphones and iPods via a USB port in the bag."

Said Hynek in the article, "I'm hoping to get it made for under $300. The wires are all enclosed. The shape of it is designed so it can sit on a windowsill and charge while you're at work."

Tell you what: the first computer manufacturer to incorporate solar cells into a laptop is going to make a fortune.

Maybe the next PowerBook?

Memo to Apple or whoever's going to make it happen: make sure to put solar panels on both the top of the machine and the base next to the trackpad so that the machine charges while at rest and in use.

Solar is the new black.

And you can quote me.

December 14, 2005 at 05:01 PM | Permalink


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» The Solarjo Power Purse. from the Wibrary at Untangled Life
Dont start running for Barneys yet kids, I dont think the Solarjo Power Purse is available. But, if you go to their site, they will kindly shoot you off an email when they are. The Power Purse is the perfect solution to hearing yo... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 14, 2005 11:29:51 PM

» Solarjo Power Purse – A High-Tech Stuff for Tech-Girls from BornRich
At times, when mobile runs-out of the charge and we forget to carry the charger along, then it really gets tough to get-in-touch! And, at one point or the other, you too must have been through such a trouble. So, cheer-up, because Joe Hynek, a... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 15, 2005 2:49:35 AM


Just about what is needed to constantly have the ipod charged when we forget to carry a charger. Good combination of fashion and high-tech.

Posted by: victor | Dec 16, 2005 12:24:49 AM

If you manage to fit a square foot of high efficiency (15%) polycrystalline cells on the lid of your laptop, you'll get about eight watts out of them in bright sunlight. That's about half of the usual power consumption of a modern Pentium M portable, and thus seems attractive - but not if you have to put the laptop out in the noonday sun to get it.

Eight watts would go into the battery, well over 50 watts of heat would go into the laptop casing, and the computer would shortly exceed the safe operating temperature of various of its components. Lithium ion batteries shouldn't be used (or charged...) when hotter than about 60C, the screen's liquid crystal fluid will go isotropic and clear at about 85C (the temperature at which your digital watch goes black if you leave it in the sun...), and of course even if you overcome those problems, nobody wants to use a computer that's too hot to hold.

Most of the time you wouldn't get anywhere near eight watts, of course, and the heat problem will be comparably reduced. Every little bit helps, but if all you can reap is one watt during the day from $US100 worth of solar cells, nobody's likely to care.

The trickle of power from solar cells works well enough for super-low-consumption devices like wristwatches and calculators, and might be useful for an old-style AAA-powered PDA as well, but laptops just don't have enough area to get useful juice out of currently available cells.

The area in front of the keyboard is, of course, much smaller than a square foot, often covered by people's arms when the laptop's in use, and would only deliver any power at all if the laptop's in bright sunlight, which'd stop you from being able to read the screen.

A remote panel you could hook up to your laptop while it sits in the shade would be more useful, which is probably why such things already exist :-).

Posted by: Daniel Rutter | Dec 15, 2005 5:32:42 AM

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