Tech company Apple was recently granted multiple new patents, including for a method to use sunlight to illuminate a laptop’s screen and the use of PV cells to power other products.
The ‘External Light Illumination Display Screens’ patent covers either an accessory – in the form of a harness – that attaches magnetically to the back of a MacBook computer, or is built directly into the MacBook, and draws power from the sun, thus reducing reliance on the battery.
The reflector positioned at the opposite side of the screen collects light emitted from an external light source; light then passes through a translucent layer to illuminate the display screen.
A related patent called ‘Methods and apparatuses for operating devices with solar power’ has been granted, indicating that the company plans to use PV solar power as an alternative energy source for its products like the iPhone and iPod.
Since current lithium-ion batteries needing to be charged and discharged in a particular way for optimum performance, solar energy may not meet these demands because its delivery of electricity can vary.
The patent details the use of ‘solar power tracking techniques,’ which includes a voltage converter apparatus and controller. The voltage converter monitors the input coming from a PV power source to the battery, and the controller manages the charging process for better charging, with the aim of increasing the performance of its batteries.