A solar powered wireless computer mouse (SPM) was chosen to serve as a case study for the evaluation and optimization of industrial design processes of photovoltaic (PV) powered consumer systems. As the design process requires expert knowledge in various technical fields, we assessed and compared the following: appropriate selection of integrated PV type, battery capacity and type, possible electronic circuitries for PV-battery coupling, and material properties concerning mechanical incorporation of PV into the encasing. Besides technical requirements, ergonomic aspects and design aesthetics with respect to good “sun-harvesting” properties influenced the design process. This is particularly important as simulations show users can positively influence energy balances by “sun-bathing” the PV mouse. A total of 15 SPM prototypes were manufactured and tested by actual users. Although user satisfaction proved the SPM concept to be feasible, future research still needs to address user acceptance related to product dimensions and user willingness to pro-actively “sun-bath” PV powered products in greater detail
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