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Samsung Working on Solar-Powered Netbook?

During the second annual Africa Regional Forum in Nairobi, Samsung reportedly revealed a solar-powered netbook called the NC215S. Although additional information regarding the device wasn't provided at the show, the netbook's unique power feature will enable it to operate in environments where electrical power may be intermittent or even non-existent.

Wednesday's netbook reveal follows a denial by Samsung that owner Lee Kun-hee told the company that it needed to reconsider plans for developing solar batteries due to technology limitations. But as seen with the NC215S netbook, Samsung has already embarked on its journey into the solar-powered business, saying it's one of many future engines of growth.

"We will continue to push forward in the (solar battery) business," said Rhee In-yong, vice executive president of Samsung’s communications team, in a press briefing. "There has been no such decision made regarding adjustments in the business plans of Samsung’s affiliates, and the chairman has not mentioned anything in particular."

The Korea Herald reports that Samsung has been pursuing the solar power business for two years due to Lee's insistence to find new business opportunities of the future. Up until now, the efforts reportedly had yet to result in an substantial progress surpassing those of its rivals.

Samsung's new solar-powered netbook is also just one example of the company's plan to dominate the African electronics market. Kwang Kee Park, president of Samsung Electronics Africa, said this will be done with aggressive expansions and by taking advantage of the middle class with disposable incomes.

"Through our Samsung Blue Project, we intend to become a $10bn region by 2015, growing the market to the size of China's," Park said. "To achieve this, we will start by more than doubling our 2010 growth to 63% in 2011."

It's speculated that the solar-powered netbook is a prototype that may actually appear at COMPUTEX 2011 next month. Additional information should be revealed in the coming weeks.

  • milktea
    solar-powered netbook using indoor lighting would be the winner, if only that's possible.
    Reply
  • milkteasolar-powered netbook using indoor lighting would be the winner, if only that's possible.
    As long as the indoor lights put out a wavelength that the panels can absorb, they work. After all, you can certainly use a solar calc in a well lit room. I imagine indoors plugging it in would be more efficient, but this would be great for someone out camping or backpacking who wants mobile enet.
    Reply
  • fonzy
    If anything it will extend battery life....hopefully.
    Reply
  • fir_ser
    Hope to see a review about this netbook on TH.
    Reply
  • milktea: The conservation of mass comes into play here; if you have ~50w worth of CFLs pumping light into your room, then the most electricity the solar cells could absorb is 50w, but realistically, efficiency will be more like 20% for the solar cells, and ~20% efficiency from the light bulbs(and 80% of 50w lost as heat), and the solar cells won't form a black hole that sucks in all of the light from the room, so you can assume at most they'll absorb ~1% of the light.

    So, you'll get 50w * 20% = 10w of light, * 1% absorbed = .1w * 20% solar cell efficiency = .02w of continuous power from indoor lighting, as to say: You'd be better off plugging it in.
    Reply
  • cookoy
    Great for browsing under the hot desert sun. Let's see who fry up first, the user or the netbook. Or they should make an umbrella topped with solar cell panels with a power cord to plug into the netbook.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    cookoyGreat for browsing under the hot desert sun. Let's see who fry up first, the user or the netbook. Or they should make an umbrella topped with solar cell panels with a power cord to plug into the netbook.That would actually be a good idea all by itself, a solar panel topped parasol with battery built in the shaft and a standard power outlet to plug in your equipment.
    Patent it quickly because if you don't i'll do it myself.
    Reply
  • gti88
    36 watt ACME Power solar panel weighs about 15kg. I wonder what this notebook's weight willl be.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    I have had a solar powered calculator for years, used both indoors and outdoors. Seems logical and desirable that someone would finally take advantage of all the flat surfaces on a mobile computing device. Even a trickle or power will extend battery life. Sounds like a potential winner to me.
    Reply
  • milktea
    We need solar panels that will make 100W of power out of 50W source. :D
    Reply