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Thread: Solar Panel Technology Embeded To Phone Screens?

  1. Master Droid
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    #1

    Solar Panel Technology Embeded To Phone Screens?



    The solar panel technology we have had for the last 20 years has not advanced much, but one French man thinks he has the next best thing that might change things. This solar charging technology was on display at CTIA this year, and after Engadget got a chance to talk to the person, they brought us a little information regarding this latest advancement. The basis of this new innovation is a thin transparent film that can be placed over anything, and while using it normally, it can be creating energy that’s naturally thrown off by the sun and unused by us.



    This looks pretty incredible because the size of modern displays could allow a lot of energy to be created. This would make huge displays have more than just sex appeal over smaller screens.


    In a nutshell, the technology involves alternating strips of solar cells overlaid with a lenticular surface; it's not unlike what you find on some glasses-free 3D displays to beam different images to the left and right eyes, except you're beaming sunlight to solar cells and routing the human eye through to the display below. Because the film is applied directly to the screen -- which would lie below the capacitive layer -- there's no effect on touch performance. Clearly, there's some magic involved in making that happen without being optically annoying, and Wysips says they've perfected it over three generations of prototypes.

    But is it really perfected? Wysips doesn't have any fully functional phones on hand, but it's got a couple compelling demos: first up is a partially-disassembled device with the top half of the display covered by its patented film, which generated between roughly 1.2 and 2.5 volts under harsh trade show lighting (we thought it might be able to eke some regenerative power from the backlight -- sort of like a hybrid car recharging the battery from the brakes -- but we're told that it soaks up rays strictly from the front, not the back). There was minimal impact to the brightness or clarity of the display, though it was definitely still noticeable -- and it was considerably better than Wysips' other demo, an iPhone 3G with an unconnected solar film placed underneath the glass to demonstrate how it might look in a production device. As you change the angle of the phone, bands of darkness move across the film, which is a pretty common effect in lenticular displays. Fortunately, the company says this is an older-generation prototype -- production devices shouldn't suffer from from that.

    Though it's not generating enough power to keep a modern smartphone perpetually charged, it's easy to see how this could extend the battery -- and considering that many of us just barely make it through a weekday before our phones give up the ghost, we'll take whatever help we can get. The company claims 9 percent solar efficiency; that's well under the 40-plus percent of the world's most efficient cells, but not far below the Samsung Blue Earth's efficiency in the low teens (and unlike the Blue Earth, you don't need to set a Wysips-equipped phone face-down to start charging).

    The firm's currently in the process of locking up deals with suppliers, phone manufacturers, and carriers, all of whom are apparently excited to get this integrated -- which is a positive sign for retail availability. The first commercial devices are expected to hit next year.
    Via: Wysips wants to turn your phone's display into a solar cell (hands-on with video) -- Engadget
    Last edited by dgstorm; 03-25-2011 at 12:06 PM.
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  3. Senior Droid
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    This is great news! +rep to the guy who was thinking outside the box in improving the power longevity of the phone by using solar cells. If this technology could ever be efficient enough to provide even half of the power required for the display at full brightness, just imagine how much longer phones can last.
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    #3
    This is awesome, hope they come to market with it.
  5. Droid Ninja
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    I'm willing to bet the major phone manufacturers and even laptop manufacturers could throw some money at it and get it progressing much faster if they wanted to. Awesome innovation!
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  6. Developer
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    #5
    Sounds like a great idea, my d1 dies pretty quickly now would love to have a solar powered phone like this in the near future

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  7. Master Droid
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    I want to volunteer for the testing phase. This would great for Thunderbolt owners.
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    A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

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  9. Master Droid
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    #8
    It would be awesome to have this technology built into the phone. I did not do all that much research but this is the one I just bought:
    Powerfilm USB + AA Solar Panel Charger NJ-34675
    and it just arrived yesterday. I hope to drain my Thunderbolt to death and see how much of a charge it can deliver. I'll let you know how it goes.
  10. Droid
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    #9
    I'm one for solar power anything, but having one on the phone that can extend the battery is great. My only question, would it be worth the extra cost that it might bring to phones?

    Again, I love solar power anything and I one for pushing homes roofs be made of solar power shingles that are being made now. New homes in up front cost and or 10 or less year old homes to get replaced if worth cost. OK back to phone stuff.... sorry

    I was reading while back and found this news article of making batteries with new "nanotubes’ – carbon tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair" (note this is not the one I read but one I found that is close to the one I read.)

    Mobile and laptop battery charges could last months thanks to nanotechnology | Mail Online

    Now if we could add in the solar and these new batteries then power user could use until their hands fall off.

    As a normal user I would like to see the solar film but, if I was putting my money into stock and or investing into a project. I would go for the batteries over solar power. Solar power is good if used right off the grid, unless you want to store it. Then batteries makes solar power more useful. Add these two techs together then we could have a real long powerhouse phone.
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  11. Droid Sensei
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    #10
    Isn't part of the problem with solar that indoor lighting is only about 5% as efficient? I don't know that you could really draw enough power burning most of the juice indoors, although I suppose even a couple more hours would be valued by some.

    The big hurdle just seems to be the battery. While all the other tech is advancing leaps and bounds literally every year batteries just seem to be almost at a standstill.

    Now I'll tell you what kicks butt is I've had the same batteries in my HP12C for like 10 years. Granted I hardly ever use it but to last that long period is impressive.
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