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solar-powered laptop

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A solar-powered laptop is a notebook computer that uses built-in photo voltaic solar panels to run and recharge its battery.

Samsung announced the first commercial solar-powered laptop, the NC215S, in 2010. According to Samsung, the NC215S has a 14-hour (maximum) battery life and a charging rate of one hour running time per two hours charged in the sun.

WiWe, a Canadian communications company, launched a rugged solar-powered laptop called Sol in 2013. Sol has a lower run time on battery of eight to ten hours but also has a dual panel that enables it to charge in about two hours.

Both solar-powered laptops currently have limited availability, offered mainly in countries with problematic electric grids, such as Kenya or Ghana. The first Sol computers were designed to be as economical as possible. WiWe plans to develop a higher-powered and more expensive version for sale in the West. The device is expected to target military and adventure travel markets. 

Fujitsu also has a solar-powered laptop project. Like WiWe's Sol, Fujitsu's design, called Luce, also features dual-panel solar charging.

This was last updated in July 2013

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