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The conceptual solar charger known as the Window Socket has been everywhere on the internet lately, and whilst many have been criticising its lack of energy storage and the low current that it provides, I for one am very impressed.
The simple solar charger was created by Kyuho Song and Boa Oh of Korea, and is designed to attach, via a suction pad, to any window that receives sunlight, and immediately begin producing electricity.
The small device has a plug socket (European connection only at the moment) which can be used to charge small devices directly, or it can also store charge in a battery for up to 10 hours, to act as a fully portable charge station.
Related article: Falling Solar Costs Drive Increase in Number of Large Scale Solar Installations
The main drawbacks for which the device receives criticism is that it takes five to eight hours to fully charge the battery, and it can only supply 1000mAh, which is only enough to charge smart phones, and other low voltage gadgets. My support of the device comes from the belief that 10 hours charge time is plenty, it is better than nothing, and can always be recharged again just by placing it in the sun. Also, I would have thought that smart phones would be the main gadget in need of portable charging. It may also be useful to have the capability of charging a laptop in the future, but what other portable devices do people carry around with them that sometimes need urgent charging in remote locations?
The designers explained that: “this product is intended to enabled you to use electricity freely and conveniently in a space restricted in the use of electricity, such as in a plane, a car, and outdoors. Thus, this product was meant to draw out a socket used indoors outward. We tried to design a portable socket, so that users can use it intuitively.”
(Images from Yanko Design)
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…
Seriously, the potential is pretty amazing. Not everyone can put large solar panels on the top of the apt building they live in, so this could potentially bring solar power to more people.
It's a great beginning. All things have to begin somewhere, so stop complaining.
Here's the problem: It's too small. That solar cell delivers ... what? 35 mA at 5V if it's lucky. It fully charges in 5 to 8 hours, ok. That's tops, 280 mAH (at 5V) of capacity. That's enough to charge your Smartphone for less than half an hour. 1000mA? minutes at best.
Add to that the inefficiencies of the DC to AC inverter, and you'll be lucky to get 15 minutes charge time per day.