Apple might use solar cell technology to power iPhones

Discussion in 'iPhone News & Site News' started by RaduTyrsina, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. RaduTyrsina
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    RaduTyrsina News Team

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    A new patent that was just granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office highlights once again what an innovative company the tech giant is.


    The patent is called “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly” and bears the number 8,368,654 but, so far, we’re not sure in what devices Cupertino plans to integrate such technology. We can only speculate by analyzing the hints. So, judging by what we know so far, based on the description, Apple might want to use the invention to fuel portable electronic devices that sport big power hungry screen.

    The concept Apple has come up with is not only revolutionary but it’s also environment friendly. The company probably plans to use the solar cells to actually harvest the energy needed to power the device in the same time as using it as an optical sensor. In order for the technology to be a viable option, the future touch panel’s electrodes will have to be in charge of two distinct processes: capacitive sensing and collecting solar energy.

    The future mobile devices, most likely iPads and iPhones, will probably also feature a complex management system that will allow the gadget’s inner “brain” to decide whether or not the produced energy should be forwarded immediately to the device or should be packed away in storage.

    The patent in question was filed in September 2008. Michael Nathaniel Rosenblatt, Benjamin Lyon, John Benjamin Filson, Steven Porter Hotelling, Gordon Cameron and Cameron Frazier were credited as inventors.

    Source: AppleInsider
  2. WayneAlkir
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    WayneAlkir New Member

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    Have Apple used the solar technology in latest devices? I think it will solve charging problem very easily..
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    WayneAlkir New Member

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    Still waiting for reply
  4. APX7000
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    In order to use imbedded solar cells to charge the iphone, you'd need 10 cells. Each cell is around 0.5v each, so 10 would be wired in series to generate 5V under full sunlight. Anything less than full sunlight hitting the cells, you'd be under 5v and charging would stop. I've seen solar cases, but get very poor reviews due to the extreme slow charging (if any).

    If you take the above setup and place it on the backside of the iPhone 5s for example. The charge current under the best of situations (full sunlight) would be under 100mAh. This being the case, it would take over 15 hours to charge a single battery.

    In order to use solar to charge an iPhone (or any other phone), a solar panel roughly 2 foot by 1 foot in size is needed. My 2' X 1' tri fold solar panel will charge a 5s in 3 hours assuming full sunlight and proper solar panel alignment with the sun.

    You'd want a 12 volt solar panel, so even under when the panel is under not full sunlight, it will still produce over 5 volts and continue charging.

    Think of a solar cell as a satellite dish. If the satellite dish is not perfectly aligned to the satellite, your signal will be degraded. Same with solar cells. If the solar cell is not pointed exactly parallel with the sun, your output will be greatly reduced.

    Solar cells are very very inefficient. Every 0.1% increase in efficiency is considered a breakthrough. Solar cells get very hot under full sunlight. This heat would not be a good thing for any phone if the solar cells are on the phone.

    Until the solar industry comes through with a MAJOR breakthrough, which is many years away, solar cells on phones is not worth even looking into it at this time.

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