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Sharp EL-8026 Sunman

Date of introduction:  December 1976 Display technology:  LCD (yellow)
New price:  ¥24.800 Display size:  8
Size:  4.3" x 3.6" x 0.35"    
Weight:  2.3 ounces Serial No:  
Batteries:  EA-20N (2.4V) Date of manufacture:  
AC-Adapter:  n.a. Origin of manufacture:  Japan
Precision:  8 Integrated circuits:  
Memories:      
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  

The EL-8026 is claimed the world’s first calculator using solar cells instead of batteries. Within the Datamath Calculator Museum we don't share this opinion and refer the Teal Photon as world's first calculator OPERATED by solar cells. The EL-8026 is actually based on the EL-8020 introduced in March 1976 and using two small, coin-shaped rechargeable batteries with a connector for the AC adaptor. The EL-8026 has no provision for a charger, instead using solar cells mounted on the BACK of the housing to recharge the batteries in bright sunlight.

The power consumption of the calculator was higher and the efficiency of the solar cells lower than today and Sharp's first solar operated calculator, the EL-825 introduced in 1979, covered a huge area with solar cells.

It took till 1981 before Texas Instruments entered with the TI-1766 the market of LCD-calculators powered by solar cells.

Don't miss the Sharp EL-8130 intriduced in 1977 with a novel touch keyboard. Overall thickness of the calculator was only 0.2 inches. 

Read more about Sharp Corporation’s Calculator Innovations.

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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

© Joerg Woerner, December 21, 2001. No reprints without written permission.