“The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 20 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“This morning’s report covers patent wins relating to icon designs, assembly methods for the iPod and the iPod’s capacitance sensing electrode based click wheel,” Purcher reports. “Yet the patent standing out amongst them all this morning relates to future solar powered portables and the power management circuitry that’ll make it all happen.”

Purcher reports, “This is Apple’s second major solar related patent win for 2011. While this technology may take another five to ten years to come to market, Apple is amongst a growing list of tech companies that are in a race to power portable devices like smartphones and notebooks with solar energy as one of their key power sources.”

Much more in the full article, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, here.