Panasonic team to lug solar-charged batteries up Mt. Fuji, live-stream eclipse

The company says it will use only green energy to power the broadcast next month

Panasonic will broadcast live a solar eclipse next month over Japan from the top of Mount Fuji, using batteries that are charged at the base using solar power and then carried up to the peak.

The company will use the event to create publicity for its solar panels and rechargeable portable power units. Panasonic said all video cameras, PCs, and other equipment used for the broadcast will be powered by solar energy. The team will consist of mountain guides and engineers, as well as some participants chosen from the general public.

A rare solar eclipse, in which the moon passes between the earth and the sun, is to take place over Japan on the morning of May 21. The event will be visible from a large swath of the country, including Tokyo, and later from parts of the U.S., including California, Nevada and Arizona.

Panasonic has created a web site to promote the project, as well as a YouTube video.

The company is one of the world's largest makers of rechargeable batteries, including the batteries widely used in laptops and portable electronics. It also owns advanced solar panel technology, much of which it acquired when it bought Sanyo Electric and made it into a subsidiary in 2010.

Mount Fuji, which is about 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) high, is Japan's highest peak as well as a cultural icon. It is still typically covered in snow and ice in May, although it is a popular climb for tourists during the summer months.

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Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
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