My neighbor recently picked up a couple of “solar” outdoor planters/urns at a discount center. What’s a solar urn? Turns out that each urn has about six tiny LEDs around its rim that are visible at nighttime, and each had a little external solar panel that could be plugged in to charge the urn’s batteries. Kinda cute, but a little weak in the “wow” solar factor. But, then again, the neighbor did pick them up at a steep discount. Now we get news of a “Solar Bric” being marketed that could either be another “solar” gewgaw like the urn or a landscaping alternative to the ubiquitous low-voltage lighting systems lining suburban patios everywhere. All I have to go on is what I found on the Solar Bric’s distributor’s (Sunrise Solar) website, which isn’t much. Here is what it says:
This innovative technology includes advanced solar cells, an energy storage device and a crystal lighting system that surrounds the energy module in a square or rectangle. The embedded solar cell generates electricity when the sun shines and stores it in the storage device. The light is automatically activated after dark. The solar brick can be designed to light in any color. Potential applications include rural airfields, building lighting, safety lights, and decorative lighting.
Rural airfields? Maybe – only if the alternative is having your spouse and kids guiding your ultra-light to the back pasture landing strip with lit matches. Regardless, here are the specs Sunrise Solar offers (all typos are theirs for a change – I suspect there is a translation problem):
Detailed Product Description GET-B803B Solar panel: Crystalline silicon 2V/500mA High capacity build in battery: Ni-MH HT AAA high temperature battery 1.2V/4000mAH Light source. 12pcs super bright LED Light color. Can be customized Operation time. 8-10 hours 3-4 continuous rainy days Operation temperature. -25 to +80 centigrade degree Material of light. Boro-silicon glass Hardware fittings. Stainless steel fastener and waterproof silica gel sealing washer Size. 202mm*202mm of square; Thickness. 55mm N.W. 3.2KGS
It would be helpful if they provided some information about strength (can it be walked on?), warranties, shipping, availability and pricing. They also claim to sell only in lots of 1,000. I have to be honest: This is the second time in the last two weeks that my BS detector has gone off (the first being the super-secret-Soviet-developed ceramic oil additive. The thing that set off our detector this time is that Sunrise Solar’s website appears to exist mainly to get investors to buy their pennystock shares. That, and that Solar Bric seems to be their only product. And, oddly, when you go to their “Products,” there are no products are listed. Instead, on the Products page the company makes this perhaps candid statement about their strengths and abilities (again, not my typos but emphasis was added):
The strengths and capabilities of our core services pertain to availability, quality, and money saved, and the ability to capitalize on the lucrative alternative energy industry that few people understand.
And you have to hand it to them for sheer ambition:
Sunrise Solar Corp. envisions the future in terms of its dominance of the market for providing added safety for our nation?s energy resources (and ultimately the world?s).
Best o’ luck.
Update: Just to clarify, this post refers to Sunrise Solar Corp., not SunRise Solar Inc., another solar building product maker-distributor.