Solar Surge iPhone Case Combines Protection, Solar Power

The advent of the extremely popular Apple iPhone and its 3G-less cousin the iPod touch has created in recent years an avalanche of all matter of accessories. The vast majority of these are not eco-friendly in the least, leaving a greenie with little recourse. Now Novothink, a solar products company, is releasing its solar charging Solar Surge case for these two Apple products.

The Novothink Solar Surge, like other portable solar charging devices, is designed to harness the power of light around it and convert that into energy for mobile devices, in this case it being either the iPhone or iPod touch. Each case sports an integrated solar panel, which is designed to output 5.5V in 100 mAh in full sunlight. It is said, that for the iPhone model, two hours of “direct solar exposure” will let one talk for up to half-an-hour on a 3G network call.

Novothink Solar Surge

image via Novothink

Power generated from the solar panel is passed along to be stored in an internal lithium ion battery. This battery is said to more than double the enclosed iPhone or iPod touch’s battery capacity. Special “smart charging” technology sends a charge to the mobile device as needed and stops charging when not needed.  For those times when solar charging is not available, a USB charging option exists as well.

Also of note on the technological side of this hybrid case charger are four built-in LED lights which indicate both if the available light source is enough for powering and also how much charge remains in the battery, as well as a special “solar planning” app available through the iTunes store. This app, when installed on the iPhone or iPod touch inside the Solar Surge, gives an idea of how much sun exposure is needed to keep up battery levels associated with usage patterns and the current weather.

Other features of the Solar Surge include USB syncing with iTunes when connected to a computer, touch screen access, a non-slip finish on the hard shell case design and speaker ports to prevent sound dampening. The Solar Surge for the iPhone prices around $80, while the one for the iPod touch is set for around $70.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply March 31, 2010

    Exterior Solar Lights

    Awesome idea here. This will progress to having the solar cell embedded directly into the phone casing itself so whenever the phone is outside it will be automatically charging. Are there any details on how the solar panel is protected from keys in your pocket, scratches, etc.?

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