Funny Business with Jane Wells

Five crazy things being powered by the sun

5 crazy things powered by the sun
5 crazy things powered by the sun

The aircraft Solar Impulse isn't the only unusual item being powered by the sun.

Why shouldn't everything be powered by the sun? It's the most powerful thing in the solar system! That's why it's called the SOLAR system.

Here are five more unusual items already using solar energy.


Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept
Source: Ford

Solar-powered cars have been in development for years. Now, Ford is turning to the sun. And just last month at the World Solar Challenge, a Dutch team prevailed with Stella, first solar-powered family car. Stella drove 2,000 miles in a test purely on solar power.


Would you rather pay $10,000 for a gold Apple Watch with a battery that lasts 18 hours, or spend $99 for a solar-powered Casio G-Shock watch that can reportedly last a few months when fully charged. Of course, the Casio won't tell you when you have an incoming call...

Trash cans

Why would a city or large company spend $4,000 for a solar-powered trash can? Big picture, people. A company called Big Belly sells expensive, solar-powered trash compactors. By using the sun's power to compact trash, the Big Belly reduces the need for weekly trash pickups, eventually recouping the upfront cost with fuel savings down the road.

Air conditioning

Use the heat of the sun to chill your house? Cool! Solar-powered A/C systems are sold by companies like Lennox. They cost thousands of dollars to install, but you can still get large rebates.


When disaster hits and the power goes out, you can still keep typing away with a solar-powered keyboard (and solar- powered computer, mouse and Wi-Fi, assuming there's a working Wi-Fi system to tap into). Logitech has been selling solar-powered keyboards for years. When they are fully charged, the keyboards can work up to three months ... even in total darkness.