Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Plug into the Sun ®

A while ago I was talking about solar power and how economical solar cells never seem to reach the consumer. Now that was for large scale installations, things that could power houses and cars. However I've just come across the Solio. It's small scale, about the size of an iPod, and can recharge a variety of devices like your mobile phone, your PDA, or (of course) an Apple iPod.

Copyright © Solio
The Solio, a portable solar charger and backup battery

Maybe the mobile revolution means that the traditional model of central power generation and then distribution doesn't really fit anymore, maybe everyone should be carrying one of these instead? Of course the Solio is being advertised on its green credentials, but I was actually fairly suprised to learn that it's been designed "to achieve a net energy benefit over its lifetime". That's pretty hard to do for a consumer product, and it has been one of the sticking points for small scale solar cell installations.

Very interesting stuff, I might just be forced to buy one, purely in the interests of research of course! More information can be found at, the heavily Flash based,

Update: It's a meme thing I guess, but I just noticed that C.K. Sample actually has one and has written it up on AppleMatters. Perhaps this should be billed as the ultimate iPod accessory for the geek who has everything?