Did you know that there are indoor solar cells that can harvest indirect sunlight to power your devices? Did you also know that organic solar cells can have higher efficiencies for indoor applications compared to their counterpart Silicon-based solar cells? This last one was a surprise for me! The talk by Dr. Wing Chung Tsoi of Swansea University, presented in the Organic Photovoltaic I session of the #S21MRS meeting, brings you the interesting news on organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells being "a promising indoor light harvester for self-sustainable electronics".
In his talk, Dr. Tsoi explained that indoor organic solar cells are not only used to power small electronic devices but also for the "internet of things," a technology often used in smart homes and offices. He highlighted that the high efficiency and low cost of OPV, compared to indoor Silicon-based and III-V devices, have brought these devices closer to commercial applications. He also emphasized that indoor OPVs are expected to have significantly higher stability than the OPVs made for outdoor applications, as damaging conditions such as intense light, high heat, and rain are avoided. "We thought that it would be nice to look at the indoor performance again," said Dr. Tsoi as he explained how he, and his colleagues, revisited the use of OPVs for indoor applications amid the discovery of new materials in the field.
At the time, their indoor OPV achieved a record high power conversion efficiency of 28% under 1000 lux fluorescent lamp. This value might be an overestimation, according to Dr. Tsoi, as no standard for indoor efficiency measurement was set yet. Nevertheless, he believes that the efficiency of his OPV would be higher than 20%. At the end of his talk, Dr. Tsoi expressed his hope for a unified standard to compare efficiencies under indoor light of PV made in different laboratories.
It's a nice partially sunny day here in Hasselt and I'm enjoying the sun rays peeking through the clouds to reach my window, as I'm writing to you. It made me wonder if this much light could actually power my laptop ;) What do you think?
That was my Sunday's view of the Organic Photovoltaic I session and if you enjoyed it, stay tuned!