Small-Scale Solar Tech
Let's face it: the high-end solar equipment is just too much for most people. When some lucky scientists find a way to make solar energy both compact and inexpensive, then we can use it freely, but until then installing solar panels on ours roofs, hooking up solar panels to our cars, and arranging solar capacitors in our gardens are projects a little too large for us to tackle in the middle of our busy lives. Fortunately, such large scale projects—while becoming more and more feasible as time goes on, especially in warmer climates—are not our only options.
Thanks to the marketability of eco-friendly technology and the continuing work that researchers are doing on the subject, many companies have developed smaller, simple devices that incorporate solar technology, including cell phones, PDS, and GPS units. In most cases, these devices are small enough to hold in your hand or carry around over your shoulder and use solar panels primarily to lower their energy requirement, meaning that battery charges last longer and overall energy use is decreased thanks to a little sunlight. Not unlike the little solar additions you can find on calculators, these examples of eco-friendly device attempt to integrate unobtrusive solar technology into every day life.
Here are several excellent examples of solar-powered gadgets you can keep an eye open for as the days become brighter—and take note! Many of these products are or will be available in the United States, for prices equivalent to the non-solar options.