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Solar Power Charges iPod

Holland-based Soldius b.v. plans to sell its solar-powered charger for iPods, PDAs and cellular phones to the U.S. market.

Holland-based Soldius b.v. said on Wednesday it's bringing the solar-powered Soldius1 Universal Solar Charger for iPods, PDAs and cellular phones to the U.S. market through its United States distributor mysoldius.

Mobile telecommunications carriers, such as Vodafone, launched the product earlier this year in Europe, where more than 65,000 devices have been sold, said Don Doney, president at mysoldius. "As soon as light hits the solar panels, Soldius1 immediately starts generating electricity," he said. "It charges a near dead battery in about three to four hours."

The palm-size device uses two small solar panels, which are manufactured in China. They generate about 320 milliamps. The charge is increased with help from patent-pending technology known as Maximum Solar Power Tracking (MSPT) software developed by Soldius scientists, which have also done work with car manufacturers Ferrari and Toyota.

There is a processor in the Soldius1 that holds the MSPT software and recognizes the attached cellular phone, PDA, or iPod device before charging the battery. If the cellular phone is near dead, for example, and you're out in the sun, the device provides enough power to keep the phone working. It charges at a similar speed to a car adapter. "I had a four-hour ride from New York back to Boston, and it took about three and a half hours in direct sunlight for the phone to fully charge from a nearly depleted battery while I talked on it for about an hour," Doney said.

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