Applications

Possible Applications

More power from the sun hits the Earth in a single hour than humanity uses in an entire year. However, despite this abundant, reliable and pollution free energy source, constraints such as cost, inconsistency, aesthetics and space prevent widespread utilization. To solve the world’s growing need for clean power, innovation is required for new solar energy technologies which are efficient, stable, sustainable and seamlessly incorporated into modern living.

There are countless possible applications where our transparent light harvesting cells can make a significant difference by adding a self-powering capacity to innumerable digital functions in our environment to simplify and elate our every-day life.  The technology is already here, we just want to add power savings, sustainability and our unique beauty of being transparent.

We have identified several applications where our technology could make a significant impact for living standard and energy saving.

Digitalisation

With more than 30 billion connected IoT devices in the world, according to Security TodayIoT Infrastructure with Smart Buildings are already at the forefront, driven by the many sensors needed to gather real-time data about the indoor environment. The data provided will improve life and living conditions at home, in the office, commercial venues and public areas. The challenge is to power all these devices and, at the same time, limit or remove cables and batteries while maintaining aesthetics and handle security.

IoT Infrastructure

Residential and commercial buildings account for 20% of global delivered energy consumption, according to US EIA. Smart building technology can cut energy consumption for light and HVAC in buildings with more than 20%, according to a study by ACEEE.

Implementation of this technology is detained because current solutions, with dependency on batteries, is unsustainable to scale for the trillions of sensors needed and expensive to maintain in terms of battery changes and material re-cycling.

Our technology makes it possible to implement smart building technology in both new and existing buildings, enabling sustainable digitalization that will make our cities safer and greener without compromises in living standard.

We have tested our technology for indoor sensor devices. Buildings that are optimized in this way can be considerably more energy-efficient than buildings with conventional energy management and the technology also enables the tenants to utilize the space more efficiently.

Use case examples

We have successfully run three different pilot projects, in various locations, where pictures have been used to collect data. The picture frame contains sensors for measuring temperature, pressure, humidity and light. The sensors become self-powered by our light harvesting cells, printed on the picture glass, and operating on regular indoor light. The sensors are easy to install, just to hang the picture on wall and needs no electric wire or battery replacement. The commercial partners in our pilot projects will use the data to optimise property management both by improving indoor conditions for people and to reduce energy consumption. One of the project were installed at Zero Sun house together with Skellefteå Kraft.

An option to picture frames could be to place plants as indoor decoration or section dividers. Similarly, the frame contains sensors to collect data for optimising indoor conditions and are self-powered by our light harvesting cells. The sensors are easy to place or move as need arises to collect data from certain areas.

Displays

Just about everything we read requires some light to see by. Light, as a source of energy is ubiquitous, available and clean, making it the perfect source of power whenever we read on labels, tablets, digital signs and displays. However, constraints in cost, aesthetics and space have so far prevented widespread utilization.

Solar power is already available, but we are only in the beginning of exploring how to implement our transparent, light harvesting cells into displays, to make them self-powered and sustainable.

Use case examples

An option to picture frames could be to place plants as indoor decoration or section dividers. Similarly, the frame contains sensors to collect data for optimising indoor conditions and are self-powered by our light harvesting cells. The sensors are easy to place or move as need arises to collect data from certain areas.

All sorts of labels, like packaging labels, logistics labels and electronic shelf labels (ESL) for example, are undergoing a transition from analog to digital, turning into connected IoT devices. They become trackable and can change and exchange information, making them reusable and versatile, bringing digital optimization to logistics and retail. Being mostly powered by batteries, maintenance for recharging or replacing is necessary. With our light harvesting cells, labels can become self-powered and environmentally sustainable, without any impact on size or design of the label.

E-reading tablets use power only when the display is changing and when data is  transmitted. The existing battery can be topped-up by light to extend time between recharges and allowing battery size to remain, keeping devices thin and portable even as power demand increase.

Digital signs are mostly powered by cable, which make them cumbersome to instal and move. With our light harvesting cells invisibly integrated, the sign would be as easy to move as a picture and the internal energy storage could be continuously topped-up to extend recharging cycles and lifetime.

Wearables

All wearable devices run on battery. Even if the technology evolve and batteries become smaller and last longer, this race is already lost by our never-ending demand for more power. With our light harvesting cells on the device, power will be continuously topped-up by light, extending the cycle for recharging and battery lifetime, and limit the ever-increasing battery size to meet escalating power needs.

Wearable devices are small and aesthetic design critical, but with transparent light harvesting cells applied to the screen, the added power would be entirely invisible.

Use case examples

Wearables are an excellent human-technology interface, used to enhance and augment our lives and we have come to rely on their functionality.

  • Finding locations and measuring distance, as well as time and energy spent to get there, is now commonplace.
  • Tracking our physicals, like pulse, perspiration and sleep help us pursue a healthy lifestyle.
  • Medical status can be diagnosed and monitored, to alert both wearer and care giver if critical values reach harmful levels.
  • Smartglasses and AR/VR glasses can provide information, improve safety and offer 3D virtual realities both for work and play.

Dynamic Windows

Dynamic windows can make a huge impact on how window glass, as façades on buildings, can add functionality by tinting the glass. This functionality, combined with indoor sensors, can make buildings really smart.

Dynamic windows is an advanced glass technology used for example in windows that can regulate their opacity to optimize for changing light conditions or user needs. Using dynamic glass, a conference room can shift between an inviting transparent view to the neighbouring office space and a privately separated space for interviews or meetings. In windows, this technology enables next-level building regulation: on a cold but sunny winter day, maximum transparency will decrease heating costs as the sunlight helps warm up the building; on a hot summer’s day, the window adapts to shield out the heat and limit the need for artificial cooling.

Use case examples

In many places such as hotels, museums, offices, shops, exhibitions etc. there are multiple applications where the flexibilty of dynamic glass can be used for various purposes, for example frosted for privacy, space dividers that could change into curtains and walls that can turn from windows into monitors.

For more information and details on performance, please download our Tech Briefs!

Indoor Sensors Tech Brief in PDF

Submit your name and e-mail address to download the Indoor Sensors Tech Brief.

Wearables Tech Brief in PDF

Submit your name and e-mail address to download the Wearables Tech Brief.

Display Tech Brief in PDF

Submit your name and e-mail address to download the Display Tech Brief.

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Voices about our technology

Technology

The Peafowl light harvesting cell is the first direct plasmonic solar cell.
A direct plasmonic solar cell converts light into electricity using plasmonic nanoparticles as the active, photovoltaic material. Plasmonic nanoparticles can absorb up to ten times more light than other known materials.

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