Solar panels make even the dullest items look cool! Jason Sahler writes in to tell us of Knut Karlsen’s clever invention:
Karlsen’s SunCat batteries circumvent chargers completely by integrating solar cells within the batteries themselves. To make these prototypes he attached 1.8V flexible photovoltaic cells onto 1.5V NiMH rechargeable batteries and connected them with a conductive silver pen and a few flat wires. The effect is similar to a trickle charger, which slowly charges a battery and can be left attached indefinitely without overcharging.
In other words, they won’t be matching those 15-minute wallwart chargers they bundle with triple-As … and won’t be messing your batteries up after 100 charges, either.