Personal sun: unexpected uses for solar panels

Everyone knows about using the sun to generate electricity. Also, solar-powered portable chargers, thermostats, street and garden lamps and lanterns with flashlights of various sizes and purposes have existed for several years. But modern science has invented several other uses of the sun, as they say, for personal needs. Kosatka.Media studied what clean energy devices you can choose for personal use.​


The first "smart" blinds with solar cells were invented in Ukraine several years ago.

They can automatically track the movement of the sun throughout the day to generate energy most efficiently while helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

Such blinds look almost like ordinary ones - only solar cells are still attached to them, there is also a motor, an electronic control unit and an inverter in the system.

And you can manage this system using a mobile application.

солнечные жалюзи

Cell phones

The first mobile phones with solar panels appeared back in 2009. In this device, an hour of solar charging provided 5-10 minutes of talk time.

Later, other industry leaders developed phones that could recharge while on the go from sunlight. The solar battery of the phone is most often its back panel. That is, the technology is extremely simple - you turn the gadget with the battery towards the sun and charge it.

But there is one thing: "solar" phones are mostly push-button "dinosaurs", not smartphones.

Samsung Solar Guru

For smartphones, individual manufacturers have come up with modular solutions, in particular, LG in 2010 released an accessory cover for a phone with a solar battery.

Another manufacturer, Caviar (the one that specializes in exclusive gold versions of the iPhone), announced the release of the iPhone X Tesla with a built-in solar panel in 2018. But this smartphone was released in a limited edition with a very big price - $4,600.

iPhone-X-TeslaIn 2019, Xiaomi patented a non-elite smartphone with a built-in solar battery. But there is no information yet on when its serial production will begin.


As a rule, these gadgets contain the functions of a player, radio, flashlight – and all this is powered by a solar battery.

These devices are produced by many companies, at different prices and with various additional perks (such as support for different media formats, in particular).

They look the same as ordinary speakers, but a "mini-SPP" is built into the side panel.

колонка на солнечной батарее

Air conditioners

Air conditioners powered by solar energy are of the evaporative type - where water is cooled, and compression - they work with freon, as in refrigerators.

In addition to the solar panel, from which the mechanism is powered, these devices can also be equipped with a battery, which continues the operation of the air conditioner when it is dark.

Solar-powered air conditioners are also available for cars.


Mini fridges

The solar-powered mini travel refrigerator is a traveller's dream.

We do not undertake to name the exact number of models that are on the market, but we have met their different types on the network.

For example, there are refrigerators equipped with a lithium-ion battery that is solar-charged during daylight hours and folds up compactly.

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There are larger refrigerators designed for transportation in the trunk of a car. These are connected to external solar panels and are also equipped with a battery.

There are also mini-refrigerators, more like a suitcase. They also run on a solar panel that recharges a battery that's enough to keep it cold all night. These are up to 35-40 litres.

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Solar-powered clocks are available for desk, car and wrist watches.

Wristwatches are the most personal, the market offers a wide selection.

How they work: they have a photocell in the form of a small lens on the body or a window under the glass, and inside there is a miniature battery. A photocell takes sunlight and converts it into electricity, from which the watch is powered. Moreover, in some models, even artificial light is enough for charging.

One charge (depending on the model) can be enough for several months of work because the watch is not very energy-intensive. There are far fewer models of solar-powered smartwatches. Basically, this is a sports watch with functions of a stopwatch, chronometer, alarm clock, screen backlight.

Часы на солнечной батарее

Tags: solar energy, technologies

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