The Solglobe is a spherical light emitting device that produces 100 lumens (20watts), production models can be scaled up to 800 lumens (50watts). The invention can be charged from both direct and indirect sunlight. It requires a small external solar panel for charging batteries (seven hours for a full charge) and has a detachable hand crank that harvests kinetic energy (this serves as an alternative power source). The Solglobe provides an output of 6 hours on the maximum mode, 8 hours in the medium mode, and 10 hours in the low mode. In ambient mode (indirect light is collected), the Solglobe can charge indoors when placed near a window (the charging times in ambient mode can vary depending on the luminous intensity of the sunlight, and can take up to 10-12 hours). The Solglobe also contains a charger for cell phones and portable low power devices.
The Solglobe utilizes a polycrystalline/photovoltaic (PV) solar panel, light emitting diodes (LED’s), batteries, and control circuitry. The uniqueness in the circuitry maximizes the lifespan of the components by preventing overcharging/deterioration of the batteries and LED’s. In the event of insufficient sunlight, the end user can supplement the charging by a kinetic subsystem (a hand crank that attaches to the Solglobe and will also function as a handle). The kinetic functionality uses motion to charge the batteries, while the ambient mode makes use of Ix-Neox's proprietary technology that utilizes indoor light for charging. As the technology evolves with higher efficiency solar panels and high performance LEDs, effectiveness of the ambient mode will increase, in which case it will be able to charge fully in indoor daylight.
The current prototype provides a maximum output of up to four hours and a medium output for up to 8 hours. The Solglobe can also be charged indoors with the ambient feature. In ambient mode, the Solglobe will charge when placed near a window (the charging times in ambient mode can vary depending on the intensity of the sunlight, taking up to 8-12 hours). The cell phone interface for Solglobe has been tested with the prototype. The panel, battery and electronics are a separate module enabling concurrent charging and lighting for users. More design improvements are in progress for an integrated unit for lighting and charging. The solar charger is expected to give a continuous talk time for two hours after full charging and has the additional ability of allowing use of a cell phone during charging as well. The user interface for the Solglobe emphasizes simplicity as all that is required for charging is an adaptor connection to an external small solar panel (5X12'').
Ix-Neox plans to sell the Solglobe as an off the grid, low cost alternative to current indoor lighting.