According tomedia reports, when it comes to conventional photovoltaic panels, the less shadows cast on it, the better. However, an experimental new device is powered by a contrast between its surface shadows and light. The tool was developed by scientists from the National University of Singapore and is called the Shadow Effect Energy Generator (SEC).
The current prototype consists of a flexible, transparent plastic base and four batteries, each with a thin gold film deposited on the silicon sheet. These batteries are less expensive to produce than comparable silicon solar cells.
When the entire SEG is completely placed in light or shadow, it produces almost no power. However, when one part of it is exposed to light and the other part is shadowed, a voltage difference between the light and the dark side produces a significant current.
In laboratory tests conducted under partial shadow lighting conditions indoors, SEG can power small devices such as digital watches. When half in light and half in shadow, it performs best, in fact, under the same conditions, it is twice as efficient as a photovoltaic panel of the same capacity.
Seg not only powers small devices in poor light but also acts as a motion sensor — a detectable current when a moving object casts a shadow on one of the devices.
Now, the group of scientists is working on a cheaper alternative to gold to further reduce the cost of the technology.
The study has been published in Energy and Environmental Science.