CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Consumer Products Using Solar Energy

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, December 23, 1998

Consumer products, using solar energy. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. In most parts of the country, the only common devices making use of solar energy are calculators. But new products promise to change that. A company called FreePlay, which has built radios and flashlights using wind-up springs, has begun incorporating solar panels into them...

"And we've managed to do this at very little cost. In fact, we absorbed the cost of the solar panel and didn't put up the cost of our second generation radio at all."

Freeplay CEO Rory Stear. A new handheld radio that will never need replacement batteries will be on the market soon..

"And the battery is charged in three seperate ways. You can either crank it up, or it will have a solar panel on the top and on a bright, sunny day it will accept the charge of the sun or you can plug it into the socket."

You can get more information on this company, remarkable in many ways, at freeplay.net Solar power is also being used to power a line of watches called Tri-Lum, from Lorus...where Vince Lewis says...

"This technology allows the watch to be charged by light sources, whether it's direct sunlight, office lighting, a lamp in your house. It will store energy from the light source, convert it into power in the watch, and has a long, long life where you don't have to worry about changing the battery once every couple of years when the standard battery would die."

In fact it should last for nearly eighty years and the watches sell for under eighty dollars.