Apple patent (solar power converter 001)

Apple has filed for a few patents in the past related to solar charging for mobile devices and has recently been discovered to be seeking experts in this field. The latest patent filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) indicates Apple may be on the verge of commercializing this technology on a mass scale.

The invention titled ‘Power management systems for accepting adapter and solar power in electronic devices’ outlines a solar power solution that could be easily integrated into MacBooks, iPhones and iPads without the need for unwieldy external converters…

Apple’s USPTO patent filing describes a method for supplying power to components in an electronic device comprised of a power management system which accepts power from a solar panel and supplies it to the components without using a converter circuit between the solar panel and the power management system.

The power management system includes a system microcontroller (SMC) and a charger. During operation, the power management system accepts power from at least one of a power adapter and a solar panel.

The solution negates the need for bulky power converters (see the image top of post) which are engineered to take the varying voltage generated by a solar panel (which varies with the amount of sunlight) to provide the specific voltage required by a device.

Specifically, Apple’s invention is capable of accepting power from a solar panel into a voltage without using a bulky converter circuit between the solar panel and the power management system. More importantly, the technology could be easily commercialized using existing components and processes, the filing remarks.

The solution could be in addition to the built-in battery to provide longer run times.

Apple’s recent job post seeking an expert in thin-film technologies working with suppliers to deliver scalable manufacturing processes has indicated the company may be on the cusp of creating a new age of solar-powered MacBooks, iPhones and iPads.

It’s also interesting Apple in February filed for another patent which directly mentioned solar power technology that could be used to augment battery life in small-form factor devices such as the rumored iWatch.

  • Dan

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Apple patented the sun.

    • Matthew Cooper

      Wont be long before fanboys start to believe the sun didnt exist until Apple did sunlight.

      • Jason Forker Ruoff

        wait, so is it the I-sun? or the I-Sunc?

    • RarestName

      Apple didn’t patent the sun, Apple invented the sun.


      • appleyay

        yeah soon ive will recolor the sun to hot pink and modern men will think its a really nice “change:”

      • Glorin

        An “invention” is a solution to a specific technological problem, and may be a product or a process.. they did that indeed.

    • Glorin

      A patent (/ˈpætənt/ or /ˈpeɪtənt/) is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time (20years), in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem, and may be a product or a process. NOW SHUT THE F*** UP TROLL

      • Dan

        An idiot, dolt, or dullard is a mentally deficient person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way. The similar terms moron, imbecile, and cretin have all gained specialized meanings in modern times. An idiot is said to be idiotic, and to suffer from idiocy.

        Relax, I was kidding, it should be obvious for anyone with an IQ of 70 and above . I guess you fell short a few points.

    • Lol, sooner or later, they’ll patent air.

  • chumawumba


  • RarestName

    There was a time when I posted an illustration on a forum which showed how easy it was for Apple to add solar panels on the iPad. Well, was.

  • appleyay

    this should have been done a looooong time ago and they also need to add kinetic charging tech to all mobile devices also that should get battery life up to at least 2 days easy..

    • Kurt

      With the phablet rumored for next year, it will have a larger battery. That larger battery will power the larger screen and have more power left over so the iphone last longer. Thats why my Note 3 last for 24-48 with hard use. Next year will be great

  • TesticularFortitude

    Yeah, back on topic. It’s about time. I’m for anything that will help extend the battery life of my iPhone.