Idea - solar cell in iPad?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by seadragon, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. seadragon Contributor

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    #1
    Just a random thought, but I wonder if Apple would ever consider incorporating a small solar cell into their products. In the case of the iPad, perhaps it could be hidden under the bezel glass.

    This would give a constant trickle charge to the battery when it's just sitting on a desk or whatnot and contribute to even longer battery life.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #2
    Given the current technology level of solar panels the size your talking about would do absolutely nothing for the iPad in terms of 'trickle charging'
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #3
    I doubt it would make much difference to the battery life at all.
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #4
    I love using my iPad in the sun. I can totally see what is on the screen.
     
  5. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    #5
    It would make a difference, especially if your iPad is on standby a lot. You couldn't rely on solar panels built into the iPad to completely power it, but it could noticeably extend your battery life.

    But it would be really ugly, so no thanks. Lol
     
  6. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #6
    If your iPad is on standby enough for it to make a difference it'll already easily last the day.
     
  7. TheRealAlex macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I would much prefer a newer battery chemistry better than Lithium ion I think we will have Graphene ion batteries soon which will be smaller and have much longer battery life. And allow for USB-C fast charging so with a 15 minute charge we will get 5 hours worth of use. That combined with faster yet more energy efficient chips will make 20 hours the standard in a few years.
     
  8. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    #8
    Assuming you can and do charge your iPad every night.

    That's the problem with batteries, though. When we get a breakthrough, we aren't going to get batteries that are the same size with a much higher capacity. We're going to get smaller batteries with the same capacity to make thinner and lighter devices.
     
  9. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    #9
    Because lots of people use some sort of a cover, putting any kind of solar cell under or around the display will not work. However, I can easily envision that a solar cell smart cover, perhaps utilizing the connections found on the iPad Pro, can help to trickle charge the iPad, when it is not used. I should apply for a patent on that idea.;)
     
  10. seadragon thread starter Contributor

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    #10
    Interesting idea!
     
  11. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    #11
    I'd buy one. Not from Apple, though. Doubt I could afford one from them. Lol
     
  12. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    #12
    I have a 1W solar panel for car / motorcycle batteries. It is 30 cm x 7 cm = 210 sq cm. iPad smart cover has a usable area of 17 x 24 = 408 sq cm. So, theoretically a solar smart cover could be close to 2W. That is almost equal to the power of the original wall outlet that comes with the iPad. I believe this is a feasible idea.
     
  13. HiItsMe macrumors 6502

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    #13
    But wouldn't your iPad have to be in direct sunlight? Who does that?
     
  14. off_piste macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    That sounds great but imagine the size of the power brick to do that.
     
  15. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #16
    Like this?

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patent...n-ipad-with-integrated-solar-panels-more.html

    6a0120a5580826970c017c36629591970b-pi
     
  16. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

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    #17
    Might be good in the future but leaving your iPad out in the full sun would be required. Not willing to leave my device out there. Today's solar panels are so inefficient that it would take one the size of the entire iPad to produce just a few watts with direct sun. It would take the entire day with the device turned off to make a difference and doubt it would full charge it.

    Maybe one day.
     
  17. seadragon thread starter Contributor

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    #18
    I'm not sure it would need to be in full sun. I'm thinking of the way the Logitech solar keyboard works. As long as it has sufficient ambient light, it charges.

    Granted I have no idea if this idea would work on a large battery as is found in the iPad.
     
  18. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #19
    True, but if you're away from electricity and can't charge it overnight, the extra charge from a small solar cell won't get you more than a couple extra minutes which isn't worth the cost of putting it in. If you need a solar charger you can always get a separate solar panel, that is bigger than anything that could fit on an iPad and charge it that way.
     
  19. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god

    TrueBlou

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    #20
    As someone who's tried various solar solutions, I've found the majority to be completely useless for the most of the year in Scotland. Might be ok if you live somewhere sunny though I suppose.
     
  20. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    #21
    You're forgetting that the solar panel would still charge the iPad during the day, not just at night. It would be a lot more than a few minutes unless you stayed in a dark room all the time. And yeah, in that case you probably would have a charger handy.
     
  21. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

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    #22
    How about this example. Toyota put solar panels (optionally) on the Prius roof. Sounds great, right? Park your car at work and the battery gets a boost? Nope! All they did was power a fan to reduce the interior temperature. They simply would not have done a thing with the amount of power used by the drivetrain.

    An iPad probably uses the amount of power a Logitech solar keyboard does for a full day in just a few seconds.
     
  22. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 11, 2015
    #23
    There's much going on in the battery chemistry world -- nano technology, micro batteries etc.

    This a three year old story (there's plenty of other examples on the Net) but shows the research going on :

    https://news.illinois.edu/blog/view/6367/204839

    I'm not sure what role, if any, solar will play but the implications for devices, including medical, are enormous.
     
  23. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #24
    Of course it would charge it during the day. No matter what though a solar cell that can fit on an iPad will not provide enough power to give more than an extra couple minutes with todays technology.
     

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