Environmentally-friendly device uses solar energy to charge cell phones

Roger Dunn
Roger Dunn

By Leland Kim - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - If you have a cell phone, you're one of 1.7 billion people all over the world who do. With improved technology, you can do much more than just make calls on some cell phones, but a constant complaint has been battery life. A new device has an environmentally friendly way of charging your phone.

The hot Hawaiian sun beckons folks to come out and play. But even at the beach, people can't seem to pull themselves away from their mobile phones. That's why Roger Dunn's company PhotonWorks.com came up with a six-panel solar powered charger.

"You can basically take it anywhere you want," said Dunn. "You're don't have to be tied to an outlet or to your car. You can be out in the sun."

It's a ten-watt mono silicone photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electricity.

We're putting this on a car dashboard to get maximum sun exposure, and my iPhone battery is about 60 percent charged right now. We'll plug it in to see if it works.

About half an hour later, it charged about 20 percent. So the battery is at about 80 percent right now.

The system is versatile so you can charge other cell phones or GPS devices. But it's not cheap. This thing runs $150. Dunn says it's an investment if you rely on your mobile device.

"A lot of people are moving away from a desktop," he said. "And for me personally, I don't even use a laptop anymore because the iPhone is so robust and powerful and they handle all of my needs."

Besides the convenience factor, Dunn says this is an environmentally friendly way to stay connected.

"But there's a lot of money leaving the state, are using oil-based, you know electricity," he said. "So if we can find other means to offset that, I think it's good for our state."

Because it's only ten watts, it's not going to be able to charge your laptop. Again, it'll work for iPhones, Blackberries, other cell phones and GPS devices.