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Harnessing Light: How New Solar Technology is Changing the Game

Recent progress in solar power technology has led to the development of new photovoltaic cells that can utilise a range of light sources beyond just sunlight. The new solar cell, named Powerfoyle, was created by Swedish company Exeger. The product could have numerous uses in the electronics industry, especially with smaller or wearable devices like headphones and wireless speakers.

The Development of New Solar Technology

Exeger, based in Stockholm, Sweden, has made significant strides in solar cell technology. The company developed these cells based on earlier research into dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSC). This new technology incorporates a highly conductive electrode material, which enhances the efficiency of the cells compared to previous DSSC products.

Characteristics of the New Solar Cells

Light Source Versatility: These cells can generate electricity from various light sources, not just direct sunlight. This makes them suitable for indoor and low-light environments.

Durability: The cells are less affected by partial shading or protective covers, unlike traditional solar panels.

Aesthetic Adaptability: The technology can emulate different surfaces, such as leather, carbon fibre, wood, and brushed steel, allowing for diverse applications.

Production and Applications

Exeger’s facility in Stockholm, operational since 2021, has a production capacity of 2.5 million square metres of solar cells annually. These cells are already integrated into several commercially available products, including headphones, wireless speakers, computer accessories, and bike helmets.

From DSSC to the New Solar Technology

DSSC technology involves a semiconductor material coated with a light-absorbing dye, placed between two electrodes. This setup allows for the conversion of light into electrical energy.

The new solar technology builds on older DSSC technology with some improvements:

  • Broad spectrum absorption: The dye in these cells absorbs a wide range of light frequencies, including visible and non-visible light.
  • Increased conductivity: The newly developed electrode material provides significantly better conductivity than earlier versions.

How Does it Compare?

Traditional Solar Cells

Traditional solar cells, typically made from crystalline silicon, are known for their efficiency and robustness. They usually achieve efficiency rates between 20%-23%. However, they require direct sunlight and are sensitive to shading. They also lack flexibility and must be large in surface area.

Flexible Solar Panels

The key features of flexible solar panels include:

  • Lower efficiency: Ranges from 7%-15%, lower than traditional solar panels.
  • Reduced power output: More suitable for small-scale applications.
  • Durability issues: The flexibility of these panels can lead to increased susceptibility to damage.

The New Solar Technology vs. Flexible Solar Panels

This innovative solar technology presents several advantages over other flexible solar panels:

  • Enhanced light absorption: The new cells can capture a broader spectrum of light, including artificial lighting and, reportedly, candlelight.
  • Improved durability: The materials and design used in these cells offer greater durability.
  • Wider application range: The technology can be integrated into various products and surfaces, providing more versatile use cases.

Potential for Indoor Applications

One of the notable strengths of this new technology is its reported capability to function effectively with many different light sources, including indoor lighting or low light settings. This characteristic is particularly relevant in regions with limited sunlight, such as Sweden where the product is manufactured. By generating power from indoor light sources, the technology expands the potential for solar energy use in everyday environments.

Conclusion

The development of these advanced solar cells by Exeger marks a significant advancement in solar power technology. By utilising a wide range of light sources, these cells offer new opportunities for integrating solar power into everyday products. As research and development continue, such technologies could play a crucial role in the broader adoption of renewable energy solutions.

At Cyclops Electronics, we know the importance of both new and old technology to keep the world turning. With a global network, local offices, and distribution hubs around the world, we are well positioned to support your supply chain with high-quality electronic components.

Our expert Account Managers are ready to assist with any requirement. Explore our large inventory of over 1 billion in-stock electronic components ready to ship today.

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