Solar Powered iPod Sound Systems

Solar Powered iPod Sound Systems

Joel Pirela
Dec 28, 2010

Heat and light from the sun, alongside other natural resources such as wind, wave power, hydroelectricity and biomes, account for over 99.9% of the available flow of renewable energy on the Earth. With the sun being the most green source of energy, it only makes sense we take advantage solar energy whenever possible. From passively heating water, to providing watts for our, that's music to our ears.

The Soulra offers versatile functionality with a touch of class. Named after the Egyptian Sun God, Ra, the Soulra is the first of its kind--a solar-powered sound system for iPod and iPhone. Masterfully engineered, the Soulra grabs the sun's rays with its massive solar panel and processes nature's energy within its soul to power and play your iPod/iPhone for your musical enjoyment. If you are poolside or at the beach, the Soulra offers an IPX-4 splash proof body. If you are indoors, the Soulra has an internal lithium ion rechargeable battery that will power and play your iPod/iPhone long after the party ends. A battery charge indicator allows you to see the battery level so you know when to put it back in the sun or plug it in for a quick charge. Stereo sound with full range speaker drivers and bass boost allow music to resonate as the artist intended. Remote control included for full control and convenience.

Boblbee Solar iPod Dock
It's not the most streamlined looking case and will definitely add some bulk to your MP3 player, but it will also potentially give you continuous, uninterrupted listening time outdoors, sun permitting. According to the company, the Boblbee can charge an iPod in around 8-10 hours when the solar panel on it's back is exposed to the sun. If your player can last through the dark hours then the music would never stop. The device also has two 3.5mm headphone jacks to allow you and another to listen while it's in the protective case.

Renu+ iPod Dock
Core to the ReNu system is the ReNu panel, a freestanding power module containing solar cells, a rechargeable battery and an intelligent user interface. The panel can be hung or placed in direct light to capture energy. When replenished by sunlight, a user can drop a ReNu panel into one of a series of Regen extensions to utilize the energy they have created. ReNu extensions include a phone charging system, personal audio, and task lighting. The ReNu panel can also charge an iPhone, iPod or USB device directly. Key to all Regen products is an intelligent interface that engages the user in energy collection and management. This interface details how much of the sun's energy has been harvested and how much remains in storage, cueing users when it is time to place the ReNu panel in a sunny window or outdoors. In addition to its patented solar technology and interface, the ReNu panel features a Lithium Ion battery that can hold enough power to charge an iPhone twice.

For the DIYers out there, we have this option too.
The sola-system's parts were chosen in order to build a device that would be a one time buy. This means that after the original purchase the owner would not have to buy any other linked products (like batteries or adaptors) to use the speaker. This allows for much less waste; economically and environmentally. The speaker system does not ever need new batteries, cords or disks, what you pay for is what you'll need. It would be great if 100% of the sunshine that hit a solar panel became electricity, but conversion of one form of energy to another always causes a loss of energy. The efficiency of commercially available solar panels (PV) is about 15%. This means that when a solar panel converts the sun's light to electricity, only about 15% of the energy in the sunlight (3 to 9 kWh/m²/day) becomes electricity. With this loss the energy supplied is still more than enough for what this set up needs, full power for the device and achieve great sound.

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