Smart Devices Powered By Light

November 2, 2021

We are increasingly using smart devices such as smartphones, smart speakers, and health and wellness sensors in our homes, offices, and public buildings.

However, the batteries they use can drain quickly and contain toxic and rare chemicals that damage the environment, so researchers are looking for better ways to power the devices.

One way to power them is to convert the indoor light from ordinary light bulbs into energy, similar to how solar panels collect energy from sunlight, known as photovoltaic solar energy.

However, due to the different properties of light sources, the materials used for solar panels are not suitable for harvesting indoor light.

Now, researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Soochow in China and the University of Cambridge have discovered that new environmentally friendly materials currently being developed for next-generation solar panels could be useful for indoor light harvesting. . Today they report their findings in   Advanced Energy Materials .

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Co-author Dr. Robert Hoye from Imperial’s Department of Materials said:

“By efficiently absorbing light from lamps commonly found in homes and buildings, the materials we investigated can convert light to electricity with an efficiency that is already in the range of commercial technologies. We have also already identified several potential enhancements, which would allow these materials to outperform current indoor photovoltaic technologies in the near future. ‘

Although perovskites are cheaper to make than traditional silicon-based solar panels and offer similar efficiency, perovskites contain toxic lead substances. This prompted the development of perovskite-inspired materials, which are instead based on safer elements like bismuth and antimony.

Despite being more environmentally friendly, these perovskite-inspired materials are not as efficient at absorbing sunlight. However, the team found that the materials are much more effective at absorbing indoor light, with efficiencies that show promise for commercial applications.

Crucially, the researchers showed that the power provided by these materials under indoor lighting is already sufficient to power electronic circuits.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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