Do You Get the Day Off If It's Cloudy?

Associated Press

Frustrated with cellular phones and laptops that run out of power?

Samsonite Corp. and Besicorp Group Inc. have teamed up to produce a briefcase equipped with a solar panel that can collect solar energy for such electronic goods.

The luggage manufacturer and the alternative-energy company announced a joint venture in which Sun Wize Energy Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Besicorp., will manufacture the battery panels and Samsonite will install them in its briefcases.

The panel unit will be about the height and width of a standard sheet of paper and as thick as two credit cards. The panel, which is featherweight, can pool energy from direct sunlight or indirect artificial lighting.

A universal plug, similar to the attachment that can tap battery power through a car's cigarette lighter, will transfer the collected energy to cellular phones, laptops and other electronic gear, according to a Samsonite spokesman. The solar briefcase should be on the market by the spring of 1995, he said.

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