WO2017118922A1 - Solar panel system for electronic device - Google Patents

Solar panel system for electronic device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2017118922A1
WO2017118922A1 PCT/IB2017/050014 IB2017050014W WO2017118922A1 WO 2017118922 A1 WO2017118922 A1 WO 2017118922A1 IB 2017050014 W IB2017050014 W IB 2017050014W WO 2017118922 A1 WO2017118922 A1 WO 2017118922A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
module
solar
portable electronic
battery module
power
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2017/050014
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Norman L. Krantz
Henry J. Howell
Keyvan Vasefi
Original Assignee
Goal Zero Llc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201662275157P priority Critical
Priority to US62/275,157 priority
Application filed by Goal Zero Llc filed Critical Goal Zero Llc
Publication of WO2017118922A1 publication Critical patent/WO2017118922A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C11/00Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C15/00Purses, bags, luggage or other receptacles covered by groups A45C1/00 - A45C11/00, combined with other objects or articles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02J7/0042Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries characterised by the mechanical construction
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02J7/34Parallel operation in networks using both storage and other dc sources, e.g. providing buffering
    • H02J7/35Parallel operation in networks using both storage and other dc sources, e.g. providing buffering with light sensitive cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02SGENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRA-RED RADIATION, VISIBLE LIGHT OR ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT, e.g. USING PHOTOVOLTAIC [PV] MODULES
    • H02S10/00PV power plants; Combinations of PV energy systems with other systems for the generation of electric power
    • H02S10/40Mobile PV generator systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02SGENERATION OF ELECTRIC POWER BY CONVERSION OF INFRA-RED RADIATION, VISIBLE LIGHT OR ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT, e.g. USING PHOTOVOLTAIC [PV] MODULES
    • H02S40/00Components or accessories in combination with PV modules, not provided for in groups H02S10/00 - H02S30/00
    • H02S40/30Electrical components
    • H02S40/38Energy storage means, e.g. batteries, structurally associated with PV modules
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C11/00Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00
    • A45C2011/002Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00 for portable handheld communication devices, e.g. mobile phone, pager, beeper, PDA, smart phone
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries

Abstract

A portable power device includes a battery module and a solar module. The battery module is configured to releasably couple to a case for a portable electronic device. The battery module is configured to at least one of charge and power the portable electronic device. The solar module is releasably coupled to the battery module. The solar module includes a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light. The solar module is configured to provide the electrical power to the battery module to facilitate at least one of charging and powering at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.

Description

SOLAR PANEL SYSTEM FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICE

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/275,157, filed January 5, 2016, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A solar panel is a packaged assembly of photovoltaic cells. Solar panels use light energy (e.g., photons) from the sun to generate an electric current via the photovoltaic effect. A solar panel is typically used to generate and supply electricity to a load device or system. Solar panels are an environmentally-friendly alternative to other sources of energy such as coal, oil, or gasoline. Portable solar panels may be used in place of traditional portable power supply devices (e.g., generators, batteries).

SUMMARY

[0003] One exemplary embodiment relates to a portable power device. The portable power device includes a battery module and a solar module. The battery module is configured to releasably couple to a case for a portable electronic device. The battery module is configured to at least one of charge and power the portable electronic device. The solar module is releasably coupled to the battery module. The solar module includes a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light. The solar module is configured to provide the electrical power to the battery module to facilitate at least one of charging and powering at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.

[0004] Another exemplary embodiment relates to a portable electronic assembly for a portable electronic device. The portable electronic assembly includes a case, a battery module, and a solar module. The case is configured to interface with the portable electronic device. The battery module is releasably coupled to the case. The battery module is configured to at least one of charge and power the portable electronic device. The solar module is selectively electrically coupled to the battery module and releasably coupled to at least one of the battery module and the case. The solar module includes a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light. The solar module is configured to provide the electrical power to at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device to at least one of charge and power at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.

[0005] Still another exemplary embodiment relates to a solar module for a portable electronic device having a battery module. The solar module includes a surface having an interior side and an exterior side, a peripheral wall extending from and around at least a portion of a periphery of the interior side of the surface, a solar panel assembly disposed along the exterior side of the surface, and an output interface. The interior side and the peripheral wall define a slot configured to slidably receive the battery module of the portable electronic device to facilitate removably coupling the solar module to the portable electronic device. The solar panel assembly includes a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light. The output interface is positioned to correspond with an input interface of the battery module to facilitate providing the electrical power to the battery module to at least one of charge and power at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.

[0006] The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being carried out in various ways. Alternative exemplary embodiments relate to other features and combinations of features as may be recited herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] The disclosure will become more fully understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements, in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of a portable electronic assembly, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0009] FIG. 2 is an exploded rear perspective view of a portable electronic assembly, according to an exemplary embodiment; [0010] FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a rear module of a portable electronic assembly, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of a portable electronic assembly in a first orientation, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0012] FIG. 5 is an exploded rear perspective view of a portable electronic assembly in a first orientation, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0013] FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of a rear module of a portable electronic assembly in a first orientation, according to an exemplary embodiment;

[0014] FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of a portable electronic assembly in a second orientation, according to an exemplary embodiment; and

[0015] FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of a portable electronic assembly in a second orientation, according to another exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] Before turning to the figures, which illustrate the exemplary embodiments in detail, it should be understood that the present application is not limited to the details or methodology set forth in the description or illustrated in the figures. It should also be understood that the terminology is for the purpose of description only and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0017] According to an exemplary embodiment, a portable power supply device includes as battery module and a solar module. The battery module may be configured to releasably couple to a case for a portable electronic device (e.g., a smartphone case, etc.). The solar module may be configured to releasably couple to the battery module (e.g., with a slide fit, a snap fit, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the solar module includes one or more solar panel assemblies configured to generate electrical power from light energy received from a light source (e.g., the sun, etc.). The solar module may provide the generated electrical energy to the battery module. The battery module may store the electrical energy for future use and/or provide the electrical energy to the portable electronic device to charge and/or power the portable electronic device. The battery module may advantageously function as a buffer between the solar module and the portable electronic device. By way of example, the solar module may provide fluctuating and/or intermittent power to the battery module (e.g., based on the intensity of light, in response to passing cloud coverage, etc.). The battery module may thereby act as a buffer between the solar module and the portable electronic device to protect the portable electronic device from potential adverse side effects of an intermittent power supply provided thereto, as well as prevent intermittent charging of the portable electronic device.

[0018] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-8, a portable electronic assembly, shown as electronic assembly 10, includes a portable electronic device, shown as electronic device 20, a case, shown as case 30, a first module, shown as battery module 50, a battery, shown as battery pack 80, and a second module, shown as solar module 100. According to an exemplary embodiment, the electronic device 20 is a smartphone. In other embodiments, the electronic device 20 is a tablet, a laptop, a portable gaming device, or still another portable electronic device. In still other embodiments, the electronic device 20 is still another electronic device. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the electronic device 20 has a first surface, shown as display screen 22, and an opposing second surface, shown as rear surface 24.

[0019] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the case 30 includes a first portion, shown as upper portion 32, and a second portion, shown as lower portion 34. According to an exemplary embodiment, the upper portion 32 and the lower portion 34 of the case 30 are slidably coupled together. In other embodiments, the upper portion 32 and the lower portion 34 are otherwise coupled (e.g., with a snap fit, fastened, etc.). In still other embodiments, the upper portion 32 and the lower portion 34 are integrally formed such that case 30 defines a single, unitary structure. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the case 30 has a surface, shown as rear surface 36, and a wall, shown as peripheral edge 38, extending around the periphery of the rear surface 36. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the rear surface 36 and the peripheral edge 38 cooperatively define a cavity, shown as recess 40. The recess 40 is configured (e.g., shaped, etc.) to receive the electronic device 20 such that the rear surface 24 of the electronic device 20 is disposed along an interior side of the rear surface 36 of the case 30.

[0020] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the peripheral edge 38 defines a plurality of cutouts, shown as cutout 42, cutout 44, and cutout 46. According to an exemplary embodiment, the cutout 42, the cutout 44, and/or the cutout 46 are positioned to correspond with (e.g., the location and/or shape of, etc.) various features of the electronic device 20 when the electronic device 20 is positioned within the recess 40. The cutout 42 may be positioned to correspond with volume control buttons of the electronic device 20 to facilitate controlling the volume of various speakers (e.g., ear speaker, speakerphone speakers, headphones, earpiece, etc.) of the electronic device 20 while the electronic device 20 is disposed within the recess 40 of the case 30. The cutout 44 may be positioned to correspond with a charging interface (e.g., a female charging interface, an input connector, a female lighting connector, a female micro USB connector, etc.) of the electronic device 20 to facilitate charging the electronic device 20 while the electronic device 20 is disposed within the recess 40 of the case 30. The cutout 46 may be positioned to correspond with a camera device and/or light of the electronic device 20 to facilitate taking pictures and/or video with the electronic device 20 while the electronic device 20 is disposed within the recess 40 of the case 30.

[0021] As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the battery module 50 has a surface, shown as rear surface 52, and a wall, shown as peripheral edge 54, extending around the periphery of the rear surface 52. As shown in FIG. 3, the rear surface 52 and the peripheral edge 54 cooperatively define a cavity, shown as recess 60. The recess 60 is configured (e.g., shaped, etc.) to receive the battery pack 80 (e.g., the battery pack 80 may be detachable or removable from the battery module 50, etc.), according to one embodiment. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the peripheral edge 54 defines an interface, shown as cutout 56. As shown in FIG. 3, the battery pack 80 defines an interface, shown as input interface 86. According to an exemplary embodiment, the input interface 86 is positioned to correspond with the cutout 56 and facilitates charging the battery pack 80. In other embodiments, the rear surface 52 and the peripheral edge 54 are integrally formed with the battery pack 80 (e.g., the battery pack 80 and the battery module 50 are integrally formed, etc.).

[0022] As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the battery module 50 includes an output, shown as output interface 70. As shown in FIG. 3, the output interface 70 includes an output connector, shown as output connector 72. According to an exemplary embodiment, the output connector 72 is a male output connector (e.g., a male lighting connector, a male micro USB connector, etc.) positioned to correspond with the charging interface (e.g., a female lighting connector, a female micro USB connector, etc.) of the electronic device 20. The output interface 70 is configured to facilitate charging and/or powering the electronic device 20 with the battery pack 80 while the electronic device 20 is disposed within the recess 40 of the case 30. In some embodiments, the output interface 70 includes an input interface (e.g., a female connector, a male connector, etc.) configured and/or positioned to correspond with an output interface (e.g., a male connector, a female connector, etc.) of the battery pack 80 (e.g., where the battery pack 80 is detachable from the battery module 50, etc.). In some embodiments, the battery pack 80 and the output interface 70 are hardwired together (e.g., where the battery module 50 and the battery pack 80 are integrally formed, etc.).

[0023] As shown in FIG. 3, the battery pack 80 and/or the battery module 50 include an interface, shown as coupling interface 90. As shown in FIG. 2, the rear surface 36 of the lower portion 34 of the case 30 defines an interface, shown as coupling interface 48.

According to an exemplary embodiment, the coupling interface 48 of the case 30 is configured to correspond with the coupling interface 90 of the battery pack 80 and/or the battery module 50. The coupling interface 48 and the coupling interface 90 may cooperate to detachably couple the battery module 50 and/or the battery pack 80 to the rear surface 36 of the case 30 (e.g., with a slide fit, a snap fit, etc.). In other embodiments, the battery module 50 is integrally formed with the rear surface 36 of the lower portion 34 and/or the upper portion 32 of the case 30. The battery pack 80 may thereby be inserted into the recess 60 of the battery module 50 through the recess 40 of the case 30 prior to the electronic device 20 being disposed therein.

[0024] As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the solar module 100 includes a rear module, shown as rear module 102. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the rear module 102 has as a surface (e.g., plate, etc.), shown as rear surface 1 10, and a wall, shown as peripheral edge 120, extending around the periphery of the rear surface 110. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the rear surface 110 has a first side, shown as exterior side 112, and an opposing second side, shown as interior side 114. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, the peripheral edge 120 has a first longitudinal wall, shown as right wall 122, an opposing second longitudinal wall, shown as left wall 124, and a lateral wall, shown as top wall 126, extending from the interior side 114 of the rear surface 110. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the interior side 1 14 of the rear surface 110 and the right wall 122, the left wall 124, and the top wall 126 of the peripheral edge 120 cooperatively define a cavity, shown as slot 130. As shown in FIG. 3, the slot 130 is configured (e.g., shaped, etc.) to facilitate detachably coupling (e.g., slidably, with a snap-fit, etc.) the solar module 100 to the battery module 50 and/or the battery pack 80. By way of example, the battery module 50 may be slidably received by the slot 130 through the open, lower end of the rear module 102 (e.g., the end that does not have a wall, etc.). As shown in FIG. 3, the rear module 102 includes an output (e.g., a male connector, a female connector, etc.), shown as output interface 128. According to an exemplary embodiment, the output interface 128 is positioned to correspond with the input interface 86 of the battery pack 80 and/or the cutout 56 of the battery module 50. The output interface 128 is configured to facilitate charging and/or powering the electronic device 20 (e.g., while the electronic device 20 is disposed within the recess 40 of the case 30, etc.) and/or the battery pack 80 with the solar module 100, according to an exemplary embodiment.

[0025] As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the solar module 100 includes a solar panel assembly, shown as rear solar panel assembly 140. According to an exemplary embodiment, the rear solar panel assembly 140 is disposed along and/or partially disposed within the exterior side 112 of the rear surface 110 of the rear module 102. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the rear solar panel assembly 140 includes a plurality of solar cells, shown as solar cells 142.

According to an exemplary embodiment, the solar cells 142 are configured to receive and convert solar power (e.g., light energy, etc.) from a light source (e.g., the sun, etc.) to generate electrical power. The power output of the rear solar panel assembly 140 may be related to a surface area thereof and/or a relative orientation between the rear solar panel assembly 140 and a light source (e.g., the sun, etc.).

[0026] According to an exemplary embodiment, the generated electrical power of the rear solar panel assembly 140 is provided to at least one of charge and power the battery pack 80 and/or the electronic device 20. In some instances, the battery pack 80 may store the electrical power generated by the rear solar panel assembly 140 for later use (e.g., when the output interface 128 of the solar module and the input interface 86 of the battery pack 80 are connected, etc.). The battery pack 80 may power the electronic device 20 with the output connector 72 using the stored power (e.g., at a later time, when the battery module 50 is activated to charge the electronic device 20, etc.). In other instances, the generated electrical power of the rear solar panel assembly 140 is provided directly to the electronic device 20 (e.g., to charge and/or power the electronic device 20, etc.). In this instance, the battery pack 80 may act as a conduit through which the generated electrical power travels from the solar module 100 to the electronic device 20. According to an exemplary embodiment, the battery module 50 acts as a buffer between the solar module 100 and the electronic device 20. By way of example, the battery module 50 may be configured to buffer (e.g., normalize, etc.) fluctuations in power generated by the solar module 100 before the power is provided to the electronic device 20. In other instances, the electronic assembly 10 does not include battery pack 80 (e.g., the solar module 100 is directly coupled to the electronic device 20, etc.). In still other instances, the generated electrical power of the rear solar panel assembly 140 may be used to charge the battery pack 80, charge the electronic device 20, and/or power the electronic device 20 simultaneously. The electronic assembly 10 may include charging electronics or other electronics to facilitate the operations described herein.

[0027] In still other embodiments, at least one of the battery module 50 and the solar module 100 include an output interface (e.g., a USB connector, etc.) configured to provide a power output. The power output may include electrical power stored within the battery module 50 and/or electrical power generated by the solar module 100. The battery module 50 and/or the solar module 100 may thereby power an electronic device, while either attached or detached from the case 30 and while either powering or not powering the electronic device 20. In still other embodiments, the battery module 50 includes an input interface (e.g., a USB connector, etc.) such that the battery pack 80 may be charged using still another device (e.g., mains power, an external battery pack, etc.).

[0028] According to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 4-8, the solar module 100 includes a flexible connector (e.g., a band, strip, hinge, other interface, etc.), shown as connector 150, and a front cover, shown as flap 160. As shown in FIGS. 4-6, the connector 150 extends between the rear module 102 and the flap 160, thereby coupling the flap 160 to the rear module 102. As shown in FIGS. 4-8, the flap 160 has a first side, shown as exterior side 162, an opposing second side, shown as interior side 164, and an edge, shown as peripheral edge 166. According to an exemplary embodiment, the peripheral edge 166 is shaped and/or sized to correspond with the shape and/or size of the display screen 22 of the electronic device 20 (e.g., to protect the display screen 22, etc.). [0029] According to an exemplary embodiment, the connector 150 is flexible. As shown FIGS. 4-8, the connector 150 facilitates selectively repositioning the flap 160 between a first orientation (e.g., a closed orientation, a cover orientation, see FIGS. 7 and 8, etc.) and a second orientation (e.g., an open orientation, see FIGS. 4-6, etc.). According to an exemplary embodiment, the interior side 164 of the flap 160 covers the display screen 22 of the electronic device 20 when the flap 160 is selectively reconfigured into the first orientation. According to an exemplary embodiment, the flap 160 allows access to the display screen 22 of the electronic device 20 when selectively reconfigured into the second orientation. In other embodiments, the flap 160 is otherwise coupled to the rear module 102 (e.g., with a hinge, etc.). As shown in FIGS. 4-6, the connector 150 couples the flap 160 to the right wall 122 of the peripheral edge 120 of the rear module 102 such that the flap 160 folds over the right edge of the case 30. In other embodiments, the connector 150 couples the flap 160 to the left wall 124 or the top wall 126 such that the flap folds over the left edge or top edge of the case 30, respectively, among other alternatives.

[0030] As shown in FIGS. 4, 5, and 7, the solar module 100 includes a second solar panel assembly, shown as front solar panel assembly 170. According to an exemplary

embodiment, the front solar panel assembly 170 is disposed along and/or partially disposed within the exterior side 162 of the flap 160. The solar module 100 may thereby have a bi- fold solar panel arrangement. As shown in FIGS. 4, 5, and 7, the front solar panel assembly 170 includes a plurality of solar cells, shown as solar cells 172. According to an exemplary embodiment, the solar cells 172 are configured to receive and convert solar power (e.g., light energy, etc.) from a light source (e.g., the sun, etc.) to generate electrical power. The power output of the front solar panel assembly 170 may be related to a surface area thereof and/or a relative orientation between the front solar panel assembly 170 and a light source (e.g., the sun, etc.). In some embodiments, as shown in FIG. 8, the exterior side 162 of the flap 160 does not include the front solar panel assembly 170.

[0031] According to an exemplary embodiment, the generated electrical power of at least one of the rear solar panel assembly 140 and the front solar panel assembly 170 is provided to at least one of charge and power the battery pack 80 and/or the electronic device 20. The rear solar panel assembly 140 and the front solar panel assembly 170 may cooperatively generate electrical power (e.g., when the electronic assembly 10 is positioned at an angle, when the flap 160 is unfolded in the second orientation, etc.) or individually generate electrical power (e.g., the rear solar panel assembly 140 is facing downward against a non- transparent surface such that the rear solar panel assembly 140 does not generate electrical power, the front solar panel assembly 170 is facing downward against a non-transparent surface such that the front solar panel assembly 170 does not generate electrical power, etc.).

[0032] According to still another embodiment, the solar module 100 includes a third solar panel assembly. By way of example, the third solar panel assembly may be coupled (e.g., foldably coupled with a band, strip, hinge, other interface, etc.) to the front solar panel assembly 170. In one embodiment, the rear solar panel assembly 140 and the third solar panel assembly are coupled to opposing lateral sides of the front solar panel assembly 170. In other embodiments, the front solar panel assembly 170 and the third solar panel assembly are coupled to opposing lateral sides of the rear solar panel assembly 140 (e.g., to the right wall 122 and the left wall 124 of the rear module 102, etc.). The solar module 100 may thereby have a tri-fold solar panel arrangement.

[0033] According to an exemplary embodiment, the solar module 100 of FIGS. 1-3 and the solar module 100 of FIGS. 4-7 are interchangeable. A user of the electronic device 20 having the battery module 50 may thereby be able to swap between a first solar module (e.g., a solar module having a single solar panel arrangement, etc.) and a second solar module (e.g., a solar module having a bi-fold or tri-fold arrangement, etc.).

[0034] As utilized herein, the terms "approximately", "about", "substantially", and similar terms are intended to have a broad meaning in harmony with the common and accepted usage by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the subject matter of this disclosure pertains. It should be understood by those of skill in the art who review this disclosure that these terms are intended to allow a description of certain features described and claimed without restricting the scope of these features to the precise numerical ranges provided. Accordingly, these terms should be interpreted as indicating that insubstantial or inconsequential modifications or alterations of the subject matter described and claimed are considered to be within the scope of the invention as recited in the appended claims. [0035] It should be noted that the terms "exemplary" and "example" as used herein to describe various embodiments is intended to indicate that such embodiments are possible examples, representations, and/or illustrations of possible embodiments (and such term is not intended to connote that such embodiments are necessarily extraordinary or superlative examples).

[0036] The terms "coupled," "connected," and the like, as used herein, mean the joining of two members directly or indirectly to one another. Such joining may be stationary (e.g., permanent, etc.) or moveable (e.g., removable, releasable, etc.). Such joining may be achieved with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being integrally formed as a single unitary body with one another or with the two members or the two members and any additional intermediate members being attached to one another.

[0037] References herein to the positions of elements (e.g., "top," "bottom," "above," "below," "between," etc.) are merely used to describe the orientation of various elements in the figures. It should be noted that the orientation of various elements may differ according to other exemplary embodiments, and that such variations are intended to be encompassed by the present disclosure.

[0038] It is important to note that the construction and arrangement of the solar panel assembly as shown in the exemplary embodiments is illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments of the present disclosure have been described in detail, those skilled in the art who review this disclosure will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible

(e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited. For example, elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements. It should be noted that the elements and/or assemblies of the components described herein may be constructed from any of a wide variety of materials that provide sufficient strength or durability, in any of a wide variety of colors, textures, and combinations. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present inventions. Other substitutions, modifications, changes, and omissions may be made in the design, operating conditions, and arrangement of the preferred and other exemplary embodiments without departing from scope of the present disclosure or from the spirit of the appended claims.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A portable power device, comprising:
a battery module configured to releasably couple to a case for a portable electronic device, the battery module configured to at least one of charge and power the portable electronic device; and
a solar module releasably coupled to the battery module, the solar module including a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light, the solar module configured to provide the electrical power to the battery module to facilitate at least one of charging and powering at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.
2. The portable power device of Claim 1, wherein the solar module has a rear module including a solar panel assembly coupled thereto, the solar panel assembly including the plurality of solar cells.
3. The portable power device of Claim 2, wherein the solar module includes a flap positioned to selectively cover a display screen of the portable electronic device.
4. The portable power device of Claim 3, wherein the solar module includes a connector positioned to foldably couple the flap to the rear module.
5. The portable power device of Claim 3, wherein the flap includes a second solar panel assembly coupled thereto, the second solar panel assembly including a second plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light.
6. The portable power device of Claim 2, wherein the rear module defines a slot that slidably receives the battery module to facilitate releasably coupling the solar module to the battery module.
7. The portable power device of Claim 1, wherein the battery module includes an output interface positioned to engage with an input interface of the portable electronic device when coupled to the case.
8. The portable power device of Claim 1, wherein the battery module is configured to buffer fluctuations in the electrical power generated by the solar module prior to the electrical power being provided to the portable electronic device.
9. The portable power device of Claim 1, wherein the solar module includes a first solar module and a second solar module interchangeable with the first solar module, the first solar module having a single solar panel arrangement, and the second solar module having at least one of a bi-fold solar panel arrangement and a tri-fold solar panel arrangement.
10. A portable electronic assembly for a portable electronic device, comprising: a case configured to interface with the portable electronic device;
a battery module releasably coupled to the case, the battery module configured to at least one of charge and power the portable electronic device;
a solar module selectively electrically coupled to the battery module and releasably coupled to at least one of the battery module and the case, the solar module including a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light, the solar module configured to provide the electrical power to at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device to at least one of charge and power at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.
11. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 10, wherein the solar module has a rear module including a solar panel assembly coupled thereto, the solar panel assembly including the plurality of solar cells.
12. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 11, wherein the solar module includes a flap positioned to selectively cover a display screen of the portable electronic device.
13. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 12, wherein the solar module includes a connector positioned to foldably couple the flap to the rear module.
14. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 12, wherein the flap includes a second solar panel assembly coupled thereto, the second solar panel assembly including a second plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light.
15. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 11, wherein the rear module defines a slot that slidably receives the battery module to facilitate releasably coupling the solar module to the battery module.
16. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 10, wherein the battery module includes an output interface positioned to engage with an input interface of the portable electronic device when coupled to the case.
17. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 10, wherein the battery module is configured to buffer fluctuations in the electrical power generated by the solar module prior to the electrical power being provided to the portable electronic device.
18. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 10, wherein the solar module includes a first solar module having a single solar panel arrangement.
19. The portable electronic assembly of Claim 18, wherein the solar module includes a second solar module interchangeable with the first solar module, the second solar module having at least one of a bi-fold solar panel arrangement and a tri-fold solar panel arrangement.
20. A solar module for a portable electronic device having a battery module, comprising:
a surface having an interior side and an exterior side;
a peripheral wall extending from and around at least a portion of a periphery of the interior side of the surface, the interior side and the peripheral wall defining a slot configured to slidably receive the battery module of the portable electronic device to facilitate removably coupling the solar module to the portable electronic device;
a solar panel assembly disposed along the exterior side of the surface, the solar panel assembly including a plurality of solar cells configured to generate electrical power from light; and
an output interface positioned to correspond with an input interface of the battery module to facilitate providing the electrical power to the battery module to at least one of charge and power at least one of the battery module and the portable electronic device.
PCT/IB2017/050014 2016-01-05 2017-01-03 Solar panel system for electronic device WO2017118922A1 (en)

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