solar October 10

AAPL: 112.12

Stock Chart

If you’ve ever tried to charge your iPhones/iPads/etc. directly from a small solar panel you probably know it is pretty difficult. Even with direct sunlight, you aren’t likely to be able to charge the device reliably. Most USB-charged devices require a minimum of 5W (5Vx1A) of continuous power to even register a charge. Then a cloud comes or the sun moves and you aren’t charging anymore.

Adding a battery to the mix helps, especially if the battery is big and can charge the device on its own without any sun. But most of the solar/battery combos fall into 2 categories: Either messy because they are a bulky 2 step solution or the solar panel is too small to make a meaningful charge and you are mostly using it like a regular USB battery.


SolarTab is a breath of fresh air here. It is a relatively big 5.5W solar panel built on a thin 13,000mAh battery enclosure that fits in an included Moleskine-esque case. Size-wise, think the original iPad with a nice leather case and a huge solar panel instead of a screen…

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solar September 22

AAPL: 113.40

Stock Chart

solar July 16

Solar cell touch surface patent

Apple tends to patent every one of its inventions that could possibly be used in a future product, so it can be difficult to read the tea leaves on which ones will eventually translate to product features. A new patent from Apple highlighted by PatentlyApple today, though, describes a technology that would be a very welcome remedy to battery life issues. The patent covers applying solar cells to a touch display surface like a trackpad or iPhone to store power for the device: expand full story


solar May 10

Apple today has announced a variety of new environmental initiatives for its China operations. Through a press release, the company announced a new multi-year partnership with World Wildlife Fund to increase responsibly managed forests throughout China. Apple also announced that it intends to expand its renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.

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solar April 16

After announcing a new partnership earlier today with The Conservation Fund to protect 36,000 acres of forest, news of another environmental effort by the company comes as SunPower announces plans to build a new solar power project in China.

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 16, 2015– Continuing its growth in the world’s largest solar photovoltaic market, SunPower Corporation today announced that it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts (MW) in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd., SunPower’s project development joint venture, and Apple. 

The two new solar sites, Apple’s first in the region, are already under construction and expected to be complete by the end of the year. Apple previously worked with SunPower on its solar projects in the US, including locations in California, Nevada, and North Carolina. expand full story

solar February 10

During Tim Cook’s talk at the Goldman Sachs Tech Conference 2015 today, the Apple CEO announced a new initiative that will see the company build a solar farm in Monterey County, California that Cook called Apple’s “biggest, boldest and most ambitious” energy project yet. expand full story


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