Transparent Solar Cell Stickers Could Perpetually Power iPads
Tablets themselves may not be eco-friendly, but the savings in energy they indirectly make helps us lessen carbon emissions.
But what if there is a way to perpetually provide energy to these handy portable devices, without the need to ever connect them to a power outlet? Well, it seems that the tablet green factor is about to get even bigger again with this exciting green concept.
Ubiquitous Energy is a new startup company that is now developing special solar cells that are to be specifically used for iPads and other large-screened portable units. Wait, so they plan on plastering thin-film solar cells on the back of the unit? Nope, they are not using any kind of conventional solar cell, but are instead going to use their special transparent “stick-on” type solar cell. In theory, the stick-on solar cells would provide enough power to juice up your iPad all day, making it totally energy independent, eliminating the need to ever connect your tablet to a grid-based power outlet.
Like some of the transparent solar cells that are also being developed in the past few months, these new solar cells will also simply collect sunlight at specific wavelengths. Their stick-on cells are capable of absorbing ultraviolet and infrared light, leaving all the other light wavelengths, and letting them pass through (thus making it visually transparent to us). So, each of the solar cell’s embedded organic layers would absorb the needed energy wavelengths, while letting through much of the wavelengths at the visible spectrum so that you can still use your tablet normally.
But just how practically efficient could these solar cells be? The truth is, not much yet. For now, their prototype solar cell is only capable of achieving a measly efficiency of 2%, while having a 70% transparency rate. Take note though that unlike laboratory solar cells, they are progressively working to make it market-worthy, and this economic push might help significantly hasten its development. Regardless however, they still don’t have any specifics on its release date, and they have yet to decide on its pricing.
The concept is, needless to say, most useful for people who like using their tablets on the go. Or, if you’re not the outdoor person type, you can simply lay the tablet under a dampened beam of sunlight in the afternoon for a short charge. Optimally however, we believe that the technology would still be best applied on almost any kind of transparent screen, whether that would be your HDTV, game console screen, or house window.
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