back to article Etón Soulra solar-powered iPod dock

While there are plenty of solar chargers to keep gadgets going in the great outdoors, sun-powered iPod speaker docks are rather thin on the ground. Step forward Californian company Etón Corporation, which specialises in portable and often eco-friendly products such as wind-up and solar radios. Etón Soulra Waiting for the sun: …

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so...

.. how long is your ipod/iphone going to last sat out in the sun on a 40C+ day then?

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Looks like a prop from Judge Dredd

Ugly, expensive and no radio

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FAIL

Not viable for most people

"it would take some time to recoup the extra cost by using free energy alone". That's the understatement of the year.

Let's say the panel generates 5W (it'll be closer to 1W in reality), and you do this for 12 hours a day, every day. And you make use of all the electricity stored.

That means you generate 0.06kWh per day, which at 12p per kWh is 0.72p per day.

Now let's say you're only paying a £50 premium over a comparable dock without solar cells. Under these most optimistic assumptions, you'll take 19 years to recoup the investment, assuming it's still working then. And that ignores the interest you'd have gained on your £50 over that time.

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+1

My thoughts entirely, with the added bonus you did some maths to prove the point.

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Brilliant point...

but lets not forget that electricity prices will undoubtably risein the next 19 years with the cost of oil increasing and the lack of power stations to handle capacity (in the UK anyway)

And isn't there only a couple years on the life span of these photovoltaic solar panels?

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Boffin

Efficiency

I'd have been interested in the actual efficiency of the solar panels. My own experiences with them on electronic devices is that they are not actually that effective, and are just as much a gimmick as anything.

Four example, over five days of Glastonbury sunshine this year I just about managed to charge my Solio's internal battery almost full - which equates to around 75% of a smartphone. But that was blazing hot all day, every day.

I would love solar charges to be more efficient, but until then they have to be supplemented with wind power. If only rain could provide electricity...

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Far-fetched...

You could probably run a tiny hydro-electric powerplant with a hose pipe?

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Alert

If only rain could provide electricity...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinorwig_power_station

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It's an Eton, forget it...

I've had two of their devices, most notably a wind-up AM/FM/shortware radio that also functioned as a mobile charger. It died (or at least the wind-up charger did) after my gf made a simple mistake connecting the phone charger connection to the wrong input. Something anyone could have done, and something that shouldn't have killed it.

Beyond that, it was cheaply made, with a battery cover that NEVER could be made to stay closed, and had terrible sound quality to boot. I rate it as one of the worst purchases I have ever made.

Caveat Emptor....

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