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Nokia tests solar power for cellphones, deems it not worthy

News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday January 04, 2012.

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Nokia has published the results of a test it did to determine if solar charging was a feasible option for cellphones. Though solar charging does have its place in certain applications, the results of the tests determined that it doesn't quite fit the bill for mobile devices.

The mobile phone maker sent specially modified versions of its C1-02 phone with rear solar panels to various parts of the world for users to test in real-life situations. The tests showed that areas with a tremendous amount of sunlight everyday had the best results, and users who were mostly stationary were able to harness enough power from the sun to charge their phones on a regular basis. However, in other parts of the world where the sun is not as strong or ubiquitous, getting enough of a charge proved difficult. Also, if a user is highly mobile, and constantly moving between sunny and shaded areas, it can be very difficult to get enough of a charge to power the device.

Nokia determined that the inconsistencies with solar charging were too great for it to be something that it would use with production devices. The phone maker has pledged to continue its research and to explore other sustainable options for powering mobile devices.

In April, 2011, Samsung and Sprint released the Replenish smartphone that had an optional back cover that could recharge the battery with just sunlight. However, it our brief tests with the solar cover, it was quite obvious that it could not be used as a primary means of energy for the phone, and that it was more of just an emergency backup solution in case the battery was exhausted.

For a deeper look at the various tests that Nokia did with the solar-powered cellphones, head on over to solarcharging.nokia.com. [Nokia via Engadget]

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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