Solar-Powered Plug Transforms Windows Into Outlets

A pair of designers have developed a new portable outlet that absorbs solar energy and converts it to electricity for everyday use.

This nifty device can be attached to a window or wall that gets a lot of sunlight and, after eight hours of charging, holds up to 10 hours of electricity. This can then be used to charge your phone or any number of electricity-hungry gadgets.

If you are in a location that lacks an electrical socket, it is even possible to leave the solar plug on the wall and use it as an outlet to keep your laptop or anything else requiring electricity charged. This is an example of how solar technology is developing to become practical in consumers’ everyday lives.

While there already are several solutions that make use of solar energy as battery backup, this is one of the first to feature a direct plug-in. The simple design makes it easy for consumers to use, as the device only needs to be attached to a window or wall to do its job.

“We tried to design a portable socket, so that users can use it intuitively without special training,” said Kyuho Song and Boa Oh, the device’s designers.

As solar power becomes cheaper and simpler to work with, entrepreneurs have been finding more and more innovative ways to leverage the technology. For example, an Idaho couple has developed a modular paving system of solar panels that can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, as well as playgrounds, and generate electricity to power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots. The glass surface has been tested for traction, load testing and impact resistance in civil engineering laboratories around the country, and exceeded all requirements. This modular system could modernize an aging infrastructure with an intelligent system that can become the new Smart Grid.

Crowdsourcing is helping to further advance solar energy innovation through organizations such as Mosaic, which democratizes solar energy investments by making them more accessible to everyday people. Mosaic is an online marketplace that connects investors to solar energy projects such as the Golden State Series, a string of solar investments that totals $100 million.

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