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New Cell Phone Batteries Harness the Power of the Sun

Cell phone users can extend their talking time with a little help from the sun. Canoga California- based Sunpower Systems Inc., has wedded a cell phone lithium-ion battery to a small array of solar cells that fit in a phone’s regular battery slot. On a bright day, a 15-minute charge will support about one minute of talking time. In five hours it can fully charge a battery, says the Sunpower president, Henry Adams. “You can charge the battery in the car, in the woods or at the beach,” he said, “so it’s always ready if you need to make an emergency call.”

The current models fit Nokia 5100 and 6100 series phones as well as Motorola Startac phones. The $49.95 battery packs come in five transparent colors and are available on airplanes through the Sunpower Web site (www.SNPower.com) and will soon be sold in stores, Mr. Adams said.

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