Scientific American reports that a team of scientists from Rice University in Houston and the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium have been working on a “spray-on” battery that’s deployed through an aerosol can. Although the idea has a vague “They called me mad, mad!” sound to it, Scientific American says that the invention could conceivably transform any surface into a potential energy storage device. The magazine says the spray is layered like most batteries with “a positive current collector, a cathode that attracts positively charged ions, an ion-conducting separator, an anode to attract negative ions, and a negative current collector.” Team member Neelam Singh says that the technology he’s helping to develop could even lead to “paint-on solar cells” that could transform entire houses into “solar-energy capture-and-storage devices.” More →
We’ve just spent some time with Samsung’s brand new eco-friendly device, the Samsung Replenish. In terms of eco-friendliness, the device is made of up over 80% recyclable materials. It features a 2-megapixel camera, 2.8-inch display, reasonably large 1600 mAh battery and it runs Android 2.2 (Froyo). The QWERTY keyboard is reasonably decent, too. We’re able to pound out emails quickly, and it’s reminiscent of the old Samsung Blackjack-style layout. The big news here is that there’s an optional solar-charging battery cover that will give you an extra 20 minutes of talk time after 1 hour of sun bathing. Sprint is also encouraging and rewarding Replenish owners for being so green by not charging the extra $10 smartphone fee that’s normally required. The Samsung Replenish will be available on May 8th for $49.99 with color choices of black, blue or magenta.
We’ll be honest, we didn’t quite expect Ralph Lauren to be the company to introduce a useful solar-powered backpack to power our gadgets while on the move. The Ralph Lauren RLX backpack offers a pretty large solar panel built in to the back of the backpack, one that the company says can charge a phone in around two hours. The backpack itself is water-resistant, with a decent amount of pockets and storage space, and generates a 3.45 watt current which is enough for most any mobile device or handset. It’s available in two colors, black and orange, is made in Italy, and will run you a steep $795. More →
Here at BGR, we’ve learned several truths over the years: What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas, you really shouldn’t eat yellow snow and most importantly, there is no such thing as a phone with a big enough battery. Discounting those first two for the time being, we’re long-time Proporta portable battery users as having that extra 3400 mAh of juice in reserve can be a life saver. Last month however, we were made aware of an alternative option from London-based Devotec Industries and our interest was immediately piqued. While Devotec’s offering holds 47% less juice than our Proporta battery, we couldn’t help but get reeled in by a key feature that no other portable charger we’ve come across in the sub-$40 price range can tout — solar. Needless to say we scooped up a handful of them and went to town. Hit the jump to read our impressions of the Devotec Solar Charger after a few weeks of abuse from the BGR staff.