Placing solar cells indoors may sound ridiculous, but it’s important to note that a lot of light energy is wasted in indoor environments. A team of engineers has announced the development of a flexible peroxide solar cell that can effectively convert indoor solar energy into electricity.
In homes, shops, offices and other buildings, indoor lighting is typically between 100 and 500 lux. The brightness of outdoor sunlight is usually around 110,000 lux, and although there is a big difference between indoor lighting and outdoor sunlight, it is still sufficient to use.
A team of researchers from the University of Duvega in Rome, universidad Surfrea And the Fraunhofer Institute deposited ultra-thin, flexible peroxide tin oxides (ITos) on glass substrates. The end result is that photovoltaic cells can be bent, have high strength, and can harvest light in indoor brightness.
In tests under LED lighting, the battery was found to be 20.6% efficient at 200 lux and 22.6% at 400 lux. The team says this is the most efficient of all flexible, bendable indoor photovoltaic technologies.
The new design has a relatively low power density, but this is expected in indoor batteries. In this case, the density below 200 lux reaches 16.7 microwatts per square centimeter, while the density of 400 lux is as high as 35 microwatts. This means that these batteries don’t run anything that’s too power-hungry, but they can be useful for small sensors or IoT devices.
The researchers also say the method is easy to scale, so batch manufacturing of these flexible solar cells should be relatively inexpensive. The study was published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.
Source: Fraunhofer Institute