Apple Patent Reveals A New Solar Panel Power Management System

A new patent application from Apple published by the US Patent & Trademark Office reveals a power management system that will work with both a power adapter and seamlessly with a portable solar panel accessory for charging on the go. Patently Apple notes that this solar power panel accessory may work with mobile devices like MacBook or iPhone, without requiring a power converter.

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The filing details a power management system that supplies power to components in an electronic device. The power management system includes a system microcontroller (SMC) and a charger. The electronic devices that will be able to take advantage of Apple’s new solar panel include a MacBook, iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. After accepting power from at least one source i.e either a power adapter or a solar panel, the power management system supplies the power to electronic device without using a converter circuit in between between.

“According to Apple, the solar panel may operate as a power source to an electronic device without requiring an additional converter circuit between the solar panel and the power management system. Instead, existing parts of the power management system (e.g., charger or system microcontroller) may be modified to convert power from the solar panel and perform Maximum Point Power Tracking (MPPT) on the power. In turn, the power management system may represent a size and/or weight savings over conventional power management systems.”

Apple credits Kisun Lee, among others as the inventors of patent application, who was hired by Samsung last year.