Transition from Coal- to Solar-powered cell phones this summer

sharp_solar_phone_inline_180iPhones and Blackberries are becoming the gateway to the world for millions of people now. And of course these tech devices take a chunk of electricity to perform. So any chance to provide that power from solar electricity could be a big step in the Sustainable Energy Transition. Sharp just announced that its first solar-powered cell phone will be released this summer in Japan.

In a tough economic environment for large solar installations, integration of solar cells into smaller devices can help the solar industry continue to innovate and grow.

And it can help make clean power accessible for those of us in urban environments without roofspace for installations. My office is efficient, with day lighting and little electricity consumption for my cell phone, landline, and laptop. But a solar charger (either integrated into my devices or on a separate sheet that I can plug-in to) in my south-facing window would be a great step to green SET’s operations and lower our energy bill. I’ll let you know when this becomes a reality :)

Congrats to Sharp and other cell phone and tech companies who are integrating solar into their products! Here’s hoping this helps consumers rely less on coal and more on free sunshine for daily performance.

7 thoughts on “Transition from Coal- to Solar-powered cell phones this summer

  1. Dennis M. Post author

    Good eye, Niles!

    Back in Chapel Hill, we had a couple voltaic backpacks to power our cell phones. I’m glad to hear of the progress in their products!

    Here’s hoping that model is successful and that they can continue to improve the technology while lowering the price (a la the iPhone)…

    Onwards-

  2. Solar Cells

    John Rogers, professor of science and materials engineering at the University of Illinois and his team have created a new method to produce flexible solar cells, transparent and extremely thin.

  3. Dennis M. Post author

    Thanks for the question, Allan-

    These phones still have conventional plugs for periods of intense cloudiness or if one finds themself in a polar region during the winter.

    Soon, not taking advantage of solar resources on a sunny day will seem silly.

    Onwards in the sustainable energy transition-

  4. Iain

    Is this not a massive waste? The solar cells could operate happily for 25 years or more, but what are the chances that a solar powered phone charger or laptop bag won’t have been lost, broken or rendered obsolete in this time?

  5. diy solar panels

    Broken cells aren’t a lost opportunity Allan – I’ve been putting together broken cells to create panels for a number of years now, and the are perfect to power small appliances. It’s just one of the things I’m doing to do my part in going green.

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