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Image for the article Solar rechargeable hand warmer

We know those hand warmers, those small portable radiators usually powered by petroleum-based derivative fuel. Sanyo got this idea: why don’t we turn them into electrical device? Why not, after all, we’re living in a battery world. But the company combines renewable energy and battery-powered devices.

The result? A solar-rechargeable battery hand warmer (see the update). The principle is easy to understand; a solar panel recharges batteries, you plug them into the hand warmer and voila. If keeping your hands warm is pointless to you, just buy the solar charger, it comes with rechargeable AA batteries that can be used in other devices, like a portable audio player or a toy.

Update — In a comment, a Sanyo spokesman asked us to make it clearer. The hand warmer isn’t powered by renewable energies. It runs on the Eneloop batteries, that could be recharged by the traditional way or by a solar-panel recharger. As we thought it would be nicer to rely on sunbeams to charge those batteries, we shrank the demonstration to its conclusion, the hand warmer is a solar rechargeable.

6 readers comments

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Hand Warmers Use Eneloop Technology – March 5, 2007

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Aaron – March 5, 2007

First of all, there is no ‘Contact Us’ section on this website, which is very annoying. If you are going to post something here, we would like to ask that it be accurate, and if it needs to be fixed, there needs to be a way of contacting you.

The main purpose for my writing this is because there are some serious misunderstandings in this report that have been passed on to other websites.

I request that Tut view the original release at and make sure the principles of these products are understood.

SANYO created the world’s first hybrid battery and released it for sale in Nov 2005, and based on the concept of ‘energy looping (eneloop)’, decided to take the idea further by creating the ‘eneloop universe’. Not all these products actually use ‘eneloop’ batteries. The hand warmer, for example, uses a Lithium-ion battery that can be recharged 500 times. SANYO saw that the disposable hand warmers are piling up in landfills, and that it was unnecessary waste.

The ‘eneloop solar charger’ is an independent product, one that comes separate from the hand warmer. It can charge ‘eneloop’ batteries (both AA and AAA) and it has a USB power out line. This product can NOT recharge the hand warmer. They are not in a set, but they are in the same ‘eneloop universe’.

Please pay attention to reporting accurate details on your site as it has others picking up from it as well. We would also like to ask you to revise your entry so no further confusion will arise.

Thank you.

Tut – March 5, 2007

Aron, sorry for saying it incorrectly. I did get the fact that the solar hand warmer aren’t powered by some clean batteries. But in an indirect way, they could be, as Eneloop batteries could be charged by a solar panel.

Aaron – March 6, 2007


Thank you for recognizing that difference. Additionally, I want to further clarify to state that both items are clean power, as the hand warmer utilizes a lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

Aaron – March 6, 2007

I am sorry, but upon reading the Update to the entry, I need to make one further comment that the eneloop solar charger and the eneloop kairo hand warmer are completely different and unrelated products. The eneloop solar charger does recharge eneloop batteries. The eneloop kairo is a hand warmer that runs off a renewable energy lithium-ion battery–it is NOT powered by our eneloop batteries. The hand warmer needs to be recharged using AC power.

Tut – March 6, 2007

Aaron, thanks for all the details. Okay, I completely messed this up. And the product has nothing to do with sustainable development. Too bad that Sanyo hasn’t put it in that way.

Note. Please keep your comments on-topic. Offensive comments, off-topic ramblings, and flames will be wiped away. Basic HTML (strong, em, a, etc.) is allowed in your comments. Especially if you wish to drop a link.

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