The world's first solar powered laptop?

The worlds of computers and the environment usually do not mix, it's by inheritance given the power and materials needed to make modern day computers work as we want them to. Some have attempted to address environmental concerns before, such as laptops that were made out of wood instead of plastic, but how about a laptop that was powered solely by the sun?

In Fujitsu's design competition for 2011, designer Andrea Ponti submitted the idea of the 'Luce' laptop which in Italian, means light. There are two solar panels, one on the back of the screen and the other on the touch keyboard panel. The material itself would be a clear polycarbonate coming in with a weight of approximately 1.8kg, which includes the onboard battery of course.

There are obviously some issues though, what if it's a rainy day and dark indoors? Rather than using traditional methods such as an LCD screen, there are other possibilities which might enable usage. eBook readers have often in the past used digital ink but the main issue with this is the lack of colour and sometimes, response. One has to credit Mr Ponti though for the general design of the laptop, the use of the clear material is a rare sight to see in the consumer market.

Whether this laptop ever reaches the consumer shelves is unclear, but the news over at TechCrunch suggests we may be seeing more of solar energy harnessing in the future. Apple have recently filed a patent design for a laptop which uses external light to brighten the screen, with talk of solar energy to charge the battery being used as well.

Image Credit: andreaponti.com

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Integrate a solor panel in a tablet pc screen thats able to be read even under direct sunlight and we will talk but this is just ehh

johnnyftw said,
Well.. for one having a laptop sit in the sun isn't exactly a good idea...

And yet loads of us use laptops and netbooks outdoors in sunny weather just fine.

So an artist creates something and now it's on the table for the first solar powered laptop? Hey guys, I just drew a picture of the first cold fusion reactor.

I think I'll wait for an engineer's announcement before I get excited.

Memnochxx said,
So an artist creates something and now it's on the table for the first solar powered laptop? Hey guys, I just drew a picture of the first cold fusion reactor.

I think I'll wait for an engineer's announcement before I get excited.

I think that, and the fact that we're in the year 2011, and still care about an outdated/boring solar panel stuck to a laptop... yawn.

cmon guys..we now have AMD fusion processors which eats about 9 - 18 watts which is virtually very very low. solar powere will be able to atleast run the processor..

burhan9k said,
cmon guys..we now have AMD fusion processors which eats about 9 - 18 watts which is virtually very very low. solar powere will be able to atleast run the processor..

9-18 watts is high, intel atom and ARM chips use much less power

It seems as if several people here don't understand that solar panels also work with artificial light sources, such as in offices.

Oh, and the author of the article seems to have forgotten that Apple used clear polycarbonate plastic in quite a few of their computers for many years.

roadwarrior said,
It seems as if several people here don't understand that solar panels also work with artificial light sources, such as in offices.

Oh, and the author of the article seems to have forgotten that Apple used clear polycarbonate plastic in quite a few of their computers for many years.

The screenshots I put up there are a bit difficult to see, but if you look at this webpage there's some more which shows the design difference more clearly.
http://www.designboom.com/cont...7&item_pk=43715&p=1

This is the way of the future. There's an enormous amount of energy out there, just for grabs. The application of this technology should be endorsed in order to speed up the efficiency of solar panels. So buy the lappie and make the statement that investing in this technology pays out!

Solar power is pretty good even when it's a dull day, a friend of mine can get their water heated to 35 degrees C on a cloudy rainy day where the sun doesn't look like it's out, just on solar power, which shows they're actually darn kick-ass.

n_K said,
Solar power is pretty good even when it's a dull day, a friend of mine can get their water heated to 35 degrees C on a cloudy rainy day where the sun doesn't look like it's out, just on solar power, which shows they're actually darn kick-ass.

Solar heating of water like you are talking about is totally different than solar power that generates electricity, such as used in this laptop. Heating water is done by infrared radiation, generating electricity is done by photons.

roadwarrior said,

Solar heating of water like you are talking about is totally different than solar power that generates electricity, such as used in this laptop. Heating water is done by infrared radiation, generating electricity is done by photons.

By comparison the infrared spectrum is much smaller than photons emitted in the light spectrum. They're probably only designed to absorb a small part of it but with a few more years work they'll be much better.

Obviously it'll need to bake for a while to recharge. There's no way this small of a solar panel can run a laptop like that.

Reacon said,
Obviously it'll need to bake for a while to recharge. There's no way this small of a solar panel can run a laptop like that.

But if you work outside the battery gets a little bit charged while working? so the battery life is extended?

Wouldn't be very good if you used it as a work laptop though Your sat in the office all day and boom battery goes dead and you have to say, "Just need to go sit outside for a while to recharge my laptop"

Reacon said,
Obviously it'll need to bake for a while to recharge. There's no way this small of a solar panel can run a laptop like that.

Yes, because sitting in the 40*C degree weather, right in the sunlight is what everyone loves to do.

SuperKid said,
Wouldn't be very good if you used it as a work laptop though Your sat in the office all day and boom battery goes dead and you have to say, "Just need to go sit outside for a while to recharge my laptop"

Solar panels don't always require direct sunlight.

SuperKid said,
Wouldn't be very good if you used it as a work laptop though Your sat in the office all day and boom battery goes dead and you have to say, "Just need to go sit outside for a while to recharge my laptop"

but why would you use battery while indoors anyway?

.Neo said,

Solar panels don't always require direct sunlight.

Solar Panels never require direct sunlight. They just need daylight.

jamesyfx said,

Solar Panels never require direct sunlight. They just need daylight.

I'd buy it. You'd charge it via the wall as normal and the battery would last longer because the solar panel would trickle power in all the time when in daylight; and in direct sunlight there would likely be no drain on the battery at all. So yep, I'd buy it. Especially if there was a netbook form factor option and I could swap out the hard drive for my 2.5inch SSD.