Recharging small batteries for various gadgets can be somewhat of a pain and while solar battery chargers are available, what if the charger was built into the battery itself?
An enterprising individual by the name of Knut Karlsen has done just that. Bear in mind this isn’t the product resulting from millions of dollars worth of research carried out in a high security lab staffed by a bevy of white coated scientists. This is just a guy tinkering with a prototype that he has called the "Suncat" battery.
During research for his diploma Knut contacted the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway who are experimenting with applications for flexible thin film solar cells. The institute sent Knut some thin film samples which he then set to work on. Knut simply glued the solar film onto C sized rechargeable batteries and using a conductive silver pen plus some flat wires from a canon lens, made the necessary connections.
The Suncat battery, as alluded to by its name, recharges simply by letting the battery lay around in sunny area such as a window sill. This isn’t a rapid charging unit by any means, it’s more of a trickle charger, but with so many gadgets we use only needing battery changes every couple of weeks and the tendency for rechargeables to lose charge when left sitting around, the Suncats might have some very real practical applications.
Knut’s innovation has caused quite a stir in the blogging world for its novelty value, but who knows, maybe with some further refinements we may be buying an evolved version of his tinkering very soon – and if that’s the case, here’s hoping that Knut is suitably compensated so he can continue his tinkering.