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6.8.13





Struggling to find a plug when your laptop battery is dying could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a computer that can be charged using sunshine.

Canadian firm WeWi Telecommunications has fitted a laptop lid with solar panels that can be unfolded and used to charge the device by harnessing power from the Sun. 

The SOL laptop takes two hours to charge via solar energy and the company then claims a single charge will last for 10 hours.
The laptop was designed to be used in developing countries with limited electricity and to 'accelerate education' in these countries. 
It was also designed with a tough outer casing and the company calls it the 'all-terrain, off-road, sport utility laptop'.

 

SOL LAPTOP SPECIFICATIONS
·         CPU: Intel Atom D2500 1.86 GHz Duo Core, Intel 945GSE + ICH7M
·         HDD: Seagate 2.5" SATA HDD 320GB
·         RAM: Kingston 2-4GB DDRIII SDRAM
·         Graphics: 1080p HD Vide, Built-In Intel GMA3600 Graphics
·         Battery Operating Time: 8-10 hours
·         Display: 13.3" LCD, WXGA, 1366 x 768
·         Camera: 3MP
·         Audio: Realtek ALC661 HD Audio, Built-in 2 
·         Modem: 3G/4G World/multimode LTE
·         GPS: gpsOne Gen8A
·         Wi-Fi: MIMO 802.11b/gn (2.4/5GHz) 

·         Bluetooth: Integrated Digital Core BT4.0 


WeWi Telecommunications currently make hardware and software for the military and law enforcement.
SOL runs on the Ubuntu operating system and has solar panels built into the laptop's lid.
When the battery gets too low the panels can be unfolded to start harvesting solar energy.
The website claims the SOL laptop is environmentally-friendly and 'during its lifetime, SOL is expected to clear about one tonne of CO2 emissions' by not connecting to a power grid.
There are three models of SOL laptop.
The basic SOL will be mainly distributed in South Africa, the Middle East and South America.
SOL Marine is treated with 'hydrophobic nano coating' and can be completely submersed in water.
The SOL X is a high-end machine and specifications of the SOL X have not yet been released.
The basic SOL laptop has an Intel Atom D2500 and a Seagate 2.5" SATA HDD 320 GB.
Its monitor has a 13.3" LCD display with a 1366x768 resolution.
SOL additionally comes with a 3MP camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and the solar panels can be removed.
WeWi's CEO David M. Snir told MailOnline: 'We've created SOL after one of our business trips to our subsidiary in Ghana, noticing severe power outages and growing demand for technology.
'We've looked deeper into it and saw a need for people desiring to get into education through technology but with no means – especially where there are many places with scarce access to a power grid.'
The first countries to receive SOL will be Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. It will then be released in the Middle East followed by Europe.
Snir told us that the price will change from one place to another but the company is planning to market it between $300 to $400 (£188 to £250).
WeWi is not the first company to build solar-power into a product.
The BigBelly Solar bin is currently being trialled in London and harvests energy from the Sun.
It uses this energy to compact any waste that is put into it to an eight of its size.
The cost of leasing the high-tech bin is £1,000 a year when leased for five years but because of its huge capacity, it could save councils money in vehicle journeys and fuel to collect waste.
Last month a Scottish engineer launched a Kickstarter campaign to launch his solar-powered OnBeat headphones.
The solar cell on the headphone's band has a surface area of 55cm3 with a charge capacity of approximately 0.55W and is made from poly-crystalline silicone.  
Andrew Anderson from Glasgow is hoping to raise £200,000 to fund the project. 

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