Last time we spoke of Apple and solar power in the same sentence, it was in September, when we shared a link to a job posting from Apple that hinted at the need for solar engineers to work on a new Apple product.
Well, it looks like Apple is continuing down that path: PV-Tech is reporting that Apple just filed for a a patent that would allow iPhones and iPads to recharge using solar power.
The patent covers “power management systems in electronic devices for accepting power from power adapters and/or solar panels.”
As PV-Tech reports:
The system would accept direct current (DC) from solar panels, and AC current using a system micro controller (SMC), to an AC-DC adapter, so devices can use both solar power and an adapter.
It uses existing technologies including maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and would not use a converter circuit, allowing adapter and solar power use simultaneously to power devices or recharge batteries.
Whatever device Apple is working on would allow users to recharge using either the sun or the wall, whichever is more convenient or accessible.
There’s no real “range anxiety” concept associated with solar-powered phones (that we know of), otherwise we’d have to go ahead and call this the Chevy Volt of phone chargers. But realistically, this is yet another cool way to spread the word about solar.
DIY solar iPhone charger photo CC-licensed by Flickr user Bryan Lee.
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