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Thread: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

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    News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Also (almost) transparent solar cells built into smartphone screen prototypes.
    Read more.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Interesting - and crucially a different approach to Apples, which has been to use parabolic mirrors to redirect light to a PV panel under the screen, rather than placing it on top to let light shine through.

    Either way I think this will be a really crucial technology in the next few years, and should fill the gap in smartphone battery life whilst we wait for better battery tech to become viable for consumer tech.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Hopefully this will bring in a range of phones you barely need to charge.

    I want my nokia battery life back.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Most of the time my phone is in my pocket or on my desk. Neither of those places get much sunlight.

    When I'm using it outside its usually pressed to my ear because I'm calling someone, or its exposed to the sun for about 30 seconds whilst I send a message.

    I'm not knocking the technology, thats great. But I just don't see it actually being all that awesome from a practical standpoint.

    Even when using my phone in the car for sat nav, the screen is facing me, not outside so again, not much light.

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    44% ? Never mind the phone, how much to roof my house ?
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    PV in phones is interesting and worth exploring but in reality I'd imagine most phones are only in sunlight a few minutes a day (and leaving your phone out in public for the sake of battery isn't wise). Nice in an emergency though.

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Does the transparent screen need to be in direct sun light, or just natural light to function? If it's just natural light, then I suspect it wouldn't take much of a change of habit to see a difference in power usage.

    How does 44% compare to existing commercial panels? Sounds a lot higher than I thought they were.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    44% ? Never mind the phone, how much to roof my house ?
    Exactly! Who cares about the stupid phones? With my 44%-efficient-solar-panel-covered roof I can charge all the phones I want! I can charge everything!

    Man, I really want this technology.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by KrisWragg View Post
    Most of the time my phone is in my pocket or on my desk. Neither of those places get much sunlight.
    I hear what your saying and agree - but - it would be nice to know if I'm out and about and have no access to power that I could charge/power it. Not sure why they can't just place the solar panel on the back of the handset mind!

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Why not apply the solar panel to jeans and place a thin wireless charging plate in the material? Then, you're jeans, which regularly see direct sunlight, could charge your phone while you're walking.

    It's great that they've improved the efficiency but as others have said, for most people it will probably only be beneficial in emergencies.

    Edit:
    Holy cow, 44 percent is over double that of the most efficient and currently available commercial panels.
    Currently studying: Electronic Engineering and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Southampton.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    44% sounds almost too good to be true. Wonder how much it costs though. There are various ways you can have a solar charger with you almost all the time (even easier if you regularly carry a backpack/bag), but the problem I have with the two I have tried is the efficiency. They take forever to charge to full (I was walking 10+h under the sun when I tested the last one), and I rather carry an extra batteries for the weight. If they can keep the price reasonable (I am not expecting them to undercut the el cheapos, but nor would I pay 3 digits for a small charger).

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Turns out 44% isn't "too good to be true" just a general improvement from previous panels.



    Solar cell Efficiency - Wikipedia

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    It will be interesting to see if this ends up as anything more than a gimmick - as others have said, how much bright light (i.e. useful amounts for a PV) does a phone screen realistically see? If it's placed on a desk for any length of time, you're probably at home/work, so what's so hard about plugging it in?

    Also, making it more transparent means more light is passing through it i.e. not being absorbed by the PV cells? I can only assume they're trying to tune it for IR or something, but then that has problems with passing through glass.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    44% ? Never mind the phone, how much to roof my house ?
    Fifty Million Dollars.

    The return on investment from solar panels is typically longer than their service life. The only reason to use them is government subsidies.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Those expensive phone/laptop chargers (and 'green' nonsense in general) make me laugh sometimes, often advertised as either money-saving or 'green'. First, you're not going to be saving an awful lot by charging the ~8Wh battery in your smartphone off-grid, and do any of these companies actually consider/explain the 'environmental impact' of producing and shipping the thing in the first place?

    Bear in mind, even in the UK, electricity is in the ball park of 10-15p per 1000Wh. Assuming 80% efficiency, which is fairly reasonable, you get 10 charges per penny. You might break even after 50,000 charge cycles.

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    Re: News - Sharp creates solar cell with 44 per cent conversion efficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    Fifty Million Dollars.

    The return on investment from solar panels is typically longer than their service life. The only reason to use them is government subsidies.
    I think you mean fifty meeeeelion dollars ? </white cat>
    I'm aware that current PV panels at ~20% efficiency are going to take >25years to break even. I got a bit excited at the prospect of (apparently) halving that number.

    Given that the solar constant is 1.361kw/m2 x 40% for visible light = 544w/m2 at the equator.
    That's a big-arse prize to shoot for.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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