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funGaia's solar power banks power mobile devices ranging from cell phones to digital cameras

funGaia, a division of Golden Bridge Electech, announced two new solar mobile power banks this year at Computex.  The company specializes in the development of solar energy products that provide power to handheld devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras.  

The solar power banks are comprised of two parts: a control module and a solar module. The solar module is laminated with durable and waterproof material, allowing it to be used in various weather conditions. The solar bank also features a "triple-junction amorphous" silicon solar cell, which enhances its ability to absorb different wavelengths of light and increase efficiency. The power cells are able to absorb all photons of visible light. In addition, the solar module remains completely flexible, making it easier to transport.

Once solar power has been absorbed, it is transferred to the control module, which can be charged through either solar energy or through a wall plug. A lithium-polymer battery powers the control module. The control module supports 5V/6V voltage adjustments and outputs power to devices through a built-in USB 2.0 connector. Three status LEDs -- red, orange, and green -- show the charging status of the control module.

funGaia will be selling two versions of the solar power banks: the "Regulus" and the "Zubene." Both versions are identical to each other in terms of features; however, the only difference is the color of the control module.  The Zubene and Regulus will both launch around September for $129.



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Vampire solar charger?
By tkengalnd on 6/7/2007 7:47:32 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The power cells are able to absorb all photons of visible light.


So no reflection I imagine. And it's only a matter of time before all your portable electronics are infected. You thought exploding laptop batteries were bad, but at least they weren't undead....




RE: Vampire solar charger?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/7/2007 10:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
Of course that's simple untruths straight from the marking department. If it were true, you wouldn't be able to see the device at all.


RE: Vampire solar charger?
By SurJector on 6/7/2007 11:33:11 AM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't be able to see the power cells.

Note that they are very dark so that's not so far from the truth... Maybe they absorb most photons of most wavelengths (with a suitably small definition of most).


RE: Vampire solar charger?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/7/2007 11:52:06 AM , Rating: 2
In the photo above, the cell in the middle is reflecting a huge percentage of incident light. The panels may absorb most photons impinging a suitably low angle of incidence...but they certainly don't absorb anywhere near all coming from random angles.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/7/2007 7:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
The cell they are using absorbs three different wavelengths -- not all. Efficiency is about 5-8% according to the developer.


Long Way to go
By bhieb on 6/7/2007 8:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
I guess it is a start, but solar still has a long way to go. Something roughly the size of a legal pad, and it can only charge small electronics. Oh but wait at least it is almost as expensive as the device you are charging.

How long has solar power been around? Hoping for a breakthrough for such an untapped resource.




RE: Long Way to go
By sidphoenix on 6/7/2007 12:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
They can improve the efficiencies of manufacture, but they're up against a hard limit with efficiency for the panels. the best estimates of power coming through all of the reflection and absorbtion of the atmosphere show we can expect between 100 and 400 W out of a cell 1m*1m. The main factor in this is where you live(weather and angle of incidence), and it can be further compounded by pollution and localized atmospheric phenomena. powering a Wii would be possible(~50 watts), but the accompanying TV set would require a panel operating in an area like the equator with much better conversion than current 15-20% panels. Hate to say it, but even once light absorbtion and conversion numbers begin to approach 100%, the best way to get electronics powered by solar is going to be by reducing the amount of power they use. Many of these panels are about a quarter or less the size of the 1m*1m panels, and if they hit optimum efficiencies, the 15 watts or so for your portable games will still be the best you can hope to see without keeping the size of the panels in the same ballpark.


Portable gaming...
By therealnickdanger on 6/7/2007 8:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
This solar pad only costs $99.

http://www.twitchguru.com/2007/03/29/how_to_make_a...

If they can continue to reduce manufacturing costs (both economic and environmental) while boosting efficiency a lot, PV will someday become a good solution for a lot of things. Living off the grid while maintaining a lifestyle of electronic opulence would be incredibly cool.




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