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New Organic Solar Technology to Power Global Network of Objects

NSchepis MA, United States 0 Ratings 13 Discussions 10 Group posts

Posted by: NSchepis // Student at Bridgewater State

It is hard to believe that one day technology and objects are going to be linked together through an ‘internet of things.’ That’s right an interconnected global network will help operate devices in your home, your car, even keep you healthy. It will also do things like detect leaks, fires, and notify of cracks in train tracks. How is this possible? By 2020 a trillion new ‘smart sensors’ will be installed around the world, and they are already being used. These sensors monitor light, temperature, sound, touch, movement, position, humidity and other factors. It is going to take power to run these sensors, and the power source needs the flexibility to be remote, portable, and efficient.

One solution is organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar panels. These solar panels differ from traditional solar panels consisting of silicon solar cells. The energy pay back time, or the time it takes to produce the amount of energy used in its manufacture, is just one day. The energy pay back time is around two years for silicon solar cells. OPVs can be molded onto any 3-D surface, even clothing, which makes them more effective at capturing diffused or indirect sunlight. The panels consist of tiny organic solar cells that capture energy from sunlight. The material is light and flexible and about a 50th of the width of a human hair.

As more and more of these ‘smart sensors’ are imbedded in devices and objects, finding a way to power them will be a top concern, and organic photovoltaics is the green solution.



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