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Apple looking to turn to solar power?

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon May 26, 2008

Apple interested in solar?

Apple may be seeking to use solar cells to power future devices, a newly-published patent application suggests. Solar power may offer a means of greatly extending the battery life of Apple devices, including both MacBooks and handhelds like the iPod and iPhone; the difficulty, according to MacRumors, is that portables often have limited space to fit solar panels, and if they do have space the panels may be fragile, and occupy room that could be used for other functions.

Apple's proposed solution involves inserting solar cells into the display, beneath the protective glass and the LCD. Aside from conserving surface space, this would require virtually no exterior design changes, which Apple typically avoids unless it intends to make a major shift in aesthetics.

A Motorola patent from 2001 is said to describe a similar technology, but several limitations may have been addressed in Apple's implementation.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm sure Apple will try to patent this. Good luck, my Casio watch already has this technology.

  1. timbck2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds great in theory...

    But in practice I don't see this being all that practical. If the solar cells are integrated in the LCD screen, they'll obviously only work when it's open and you're using it. How often do you use your notebook in sunlight (given that the screens are very difficult to see in the sun)?

  1. bloodline

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You are away from a power source and your battery goes flat... then you simply open up the lid point it at the sun... and in a few hours you might have enough juice to run some vital software you might need...

  1. lowededwookie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    UV is everywhere

    The use of the solar cells when the MacBook is open is not an issue as UV is all around us. You can use a solar cell in shade and still get UV light. There is UV on cloudy days even so it's not going to be much of an issue.

    Ironically for those complaining about the screen and the sunlight factor the use of solar cells may improve visibility on bright days.

  1. jonedarry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My confussion

    Happy to hear about companies adopting solar energies.. But my doubt is solar energy is mainly supported by sunlight.. Whether it will work in night time or at places the are no lights?


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