Panasonic eneloop solar storage provides light, charges phones

Given the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, it might be too easy to presume that every place in the world has a constant and reliable supply of electricity. The fact, however, is that one out of every five people in the world actually lives without enjoying the conveniences, not to mention the essential benefits, of electricity. Almost ironically, these same areas do have working cellular networks. Panasonic "eneloop solar storage" tries to hit two birds with one stone, gathering enough solar power to give light as well as charge mobile devices.

The system comes in three pieces, four if you count the two different bulbs. There is a 15 W high-power solar panel that is used to charge the eneloop storage's battery unit. The battery can be charged to full in just 5 hours. The unit uses nickel-metal hydride which is not only durable but also long-lasting. The lifespan of the battery is expected to last 5 years.

The eneloop system generates enough power to light up the 1.5 W bulb-type LED and the 5 W straight tube LED lights. Panasonic says that the bulbs can last 5 to 24 hours, depending on environmental conditions. In addition to lighting output, the battery unit also has a 1 A USB socket that can be used to charge mobile devices as well.

The Panasonic eneloop solar storage isn't going to be a heavyweight, but the company believes it is strong enough to provide lighting for houses, hospitals, classrooms, and stores. While the system will also be sold in retail outlets, Panasonic will also make it accessible it to NPOs and NGOs working in areas where mains electricity is hard to get or even non-existent. The eneloop solar storage will go on sale starting next month, specifically in regions in Asia and Africa.

SOURCE: Panasonic