30 September 2016
Let’s imagine a few things: Imagine not having to carry your phone charger everywhere you go? Imagine that all you need to get your smartphone powered up is the sun? Imagine a day you are at the mercy of PHCN when you badly need your phone?
What currently exists only in the figment of our imagination will soon be a reality thanks to a new technology called Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC).
A LSC according to Wikipedia is a device for concentrating radiation, solar radiation in particular, to produce electricity.
LSCs operate on the principle of collecting radiation over a large area, converting it by luminescence (commonly specifically by fluorescence) and directing the generated radiation into a relatively small output target.
Thanks to researchers at Michigan State University, this technology is a lab reality and will soon be rolled out commercially.
The LSCs being created by these researchers are designed to serve as phone screens or house windows, since they are transparent, while they also double as solar panels.
Here’s why the LSCs are transparent: In them, there are small organic molecules that absorb specific invisible wavelength of light. And since they don’t absorb visible light, they seem perfectly transparent to our eyes.
In order words, they only appear transparent, they are really not transparent. But who cares, so far they will charge my phone while also protecting it.
Researchers expect that by the time the LSC is fully optimised, its panels will get beyond 5 per cent solar conversion efficiency.
Here’s the best part: Exposure to sunlight for 10 minutes could generate 100 minutes of standby time for your smartphone.