Solar Purse

Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability Technology
Solar Purse
Power Purse.jpg

Joe Hyneck wants to move your charger from the wall to your handbag.

On cloudless days, he wanders his neighborhood to test whether the purse, which is plated in thin solar panels and contains a lightweight battery, is absorbing energy from the sun. After three hours of direct exposure, the purse generates enough electricity to charge an iPod, camera or cellphone. (The bag will also charge — more slowly — if placed next to a window.) Mr. Hynek is currently working on the final touch: a small display screen that will indicate when the purse is best angled for absorbing the day’s light.

From Mel

How would you improve on this design? Have you built something similar to charge your devices? Add your ideas to the comments and contribute your photos and videos to the Make Flickr pool.

8 thoughts on “Solar Purse

  1. Tim says:

    Make it prettier. Handbags are fashion items primarily.

    1. Chris Connors says:

      @tim Great idea. Show us some versions of things that would have similar function, but may look better.

      This design is in the development phase. What the creative team making the Power Purse has done is prove the concept. It may be another team that takes the proven concept and works out the next ideas. Those ideas will likely include some if not all of the following:
      Production of more than a few Power Purses
      Altering the visual aspects of the product (form vs function)
      Improving the product’s charging or other functional ability
      Reducing the cost of production.
      Marketing the product to the general population.

      Feel free to tackle any aspect of the project and pass along any ideas that will help it become more available. Personally, I don’t carry a purse, but I do have a laptop bag. I could get in the habit of leaving the bag near a window to make sure my battery is topped off.

      You might find this page helpful in understanding the Design Process:


  2. Anonymous says:

    Noon Solar is making something similar using all high-quality eco-friendly dyes and materials.

  3. Ed in Tempe says:

    If the design is primarily a purse, you’d better make sure that the inside is well insulated from the outside. I’m guessing that makeup in a purse that sat 3 hours in direct sunlight *might* have a problem or two with it.

    Also- adjustable pouches for different sized electronics might be nice.

    Also- why not add a purse light to it? Since you have all those electronic parts in it anyway. Makes it a little more useful.

    Also- is it supposed to be stylish or an everyday purse? Very different uses there (plus a lot of designer purses are really for night on the town events- not great for sunlight charging.)

    Also- hmm, not getting paid to think about this, that’s enough from me for now. :)

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