Rechargeable batteries are great. In fact, I find it hard to believe that stores sell one-use batteries anymore. Nonetheless, rechargeables still need charging. And, often, the charger (if it isn't unplugged from the wall when it's not needed) can use a significant amount of electricity.
But how about this for a concept: designer / inventor Knut Karlsen simply covered some rechargeable C-cells with flexible solar panels and attached leads to each end of the battery. Now, whenever they're left in the sun, the batteries will trickle charge. Cylinders are actually a good shape for solar panels, because they're more likely to have at least one part of the panel perpendicular to the light source.
Of course, it's somewhat likely that these panels won't be able to bring the battery to full charge. And if they are, it's possible that it will take days or even weeks of charging. But it's a cool idea, and well done, all in Knut's home workshop.
written by DNLee, February 19, 2009
written by Rob Chant, February 24, 2009
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