7 Amazing Solar Powered Innovations Via

As photovoltaic cells become cheaper to produce and purchase, new gadgets are emerging that are helping to make life a little easier for us in our increasingly electronic filled world. Using devices powered by solar energy not only help improve the environment by utilizing a clean and abundant source of energy, they also create household savings by reducing the amount of electricity that would otherwise be drawn from traditional power grids. From solar powered cookware to solar powered swimwear, here are seven amazing solar powered innovations.

7. Solar Furniture

MIT Professor Sheila Kennedy and her team have created a type of solar lounge chair they’re calling SOFT Rockers. These dynamic relaxing stations are meant to double as both artistic urban instillations, and a convenient way to charge almost any portable electronic device. The SOFT Rocker also leverages your own body weight when you sit down to create an interactive, real-time, energy-harvesting feedback loop that lets you see how much energy is gathered depending on the rocker’s orientation to the sun. But, the most outstanding feature of this solar lounger is only apparent once the sun goes down. At night, a series of cool blue LEDs lining the edges of the rocker illuminate to make the occupant look like they’re riding in some sort of vehicle from TRON. Via Flickr

6. Portable Solar Cooking

If you like hot food when you’re on the trail, the GoSun Kitchen is the perfect portable oven to take with you in your hiking pack. By conserving 90 percent of the solar energy that it captures with its reflectors the GoSun Kitchen can cook food with temperatures exceeding 350 degrees celsius — enough to bake, boil, or fry pretty much anything you want. Via

5. Solar Air Conditioning

Some companies dedicated to energy efficiency have started rolling out solar air conditioning units. Among them is LG, who introduced an air conditioning device powered by solar energy that can produce up to 70 watts per hour and earn energy savings from 35-to-50 percent off monthly bills. Although a solar powered air conditioning unit will initially cost more than a regular air conditioner, the money they can save on energy consumption means that they pay for themselves within a few years. Via NextGenLog

4. Solar Backpacks

Solar backpacks are a welcome piece of travel gear for anyone who has ever gone camping and wished they had a way to charge their cell phone, camera, or mp3 player. The Samsonite Solar Business Laptop Backpack lets you charge your laptop and other electronic devices on the go by simply exposing the panels on the back of the pack to sunlight. This is much more convenient than having to stop and find an available power outlet when you’re out and about — especially if you’re in the wilderness. Via Yahoo!

3. Solar Computers

Developed by the London, Ontario-based company WeWi, SOL is the worlds first completely solar powered computer. It was originally created so that schools in developing countries that aren’t connected to an electrical grid can still have access to computers, but it’s also pretty convenient for anyone who travels or likes to work outdoors. In addition to being extremely rugged, the laptop is highly efficient. When the solar panels located on the back are unfolded and exposed to direct sunlight, they can charge a battery that delivers ten hours of life in only two hours. The system also runs on open source software (Ubuntu Linux) and, with a price tag staring at about $400, is very affordable. Via SliceOfTech

2. Solar Clothing

Two fashion designers have recently unveiled attire that includes integrated solar cells. Despina Papadopoulos’s Day-For-Night Solar Dress is custom-tailored with nearly 450 white circuit board tiles that are constructed to hold solar cells, photocells, or LEDs. And, during the summer of 2011, Brooklyn-based designer Andrew Schneider brought out his limited-edition solar-panel bikini, or iKini, which cleverly conceals a USB port for powering small electronic devices like cameras and mp3 players. Of course wearers of the iKini are still able to go swimming, but it’s strongly suggested they thoroughly dry before hooking it up to any electronics. Via

1. Solar Outlet

This solar application is a real game-changer. Imagine the ability to transform any window into an energy outlet. The Window Socket from Yanko Design allows you to do just that. One side of the device has a solar panel with a suction cup around it so it can gather energy and adhere to a glass surface. The other side features a standard outlet where you can connect adapters to charge your various electronic devices. And, once the Window Socket is fully charged, you can even take it with you on the to help stay powered wherever you are. Via YankoDesign

Wes Walcott

Wes Walcott

Wes is a devourer of media. He ravenously consumes podcasts, books, and TV shows with seemingly no regard for review scores or subject matter. If encountered in the wild, Wes is said to respond positively to verbal cues relating to X-Men or the SNES. The subject can be easily captured and tamed using Transformers or Gundam models.