General, Research, Technology

An analogue of the solar battery, or how to get energy from the shade

While the coronavirus still wanders the planet, peoplesits at home, and some companies are thinking about how to transfer work to the "remote" forever. But if everyone is going home, is it worth people to think about how to make an independent fortress out of their home? The answer to this question is purely personal for everyone, but if any of you are interested in this, then you will like the new development from Singaporean scientists. Their invention made it possible to extract energy from the shadows.

Solar energy is used quite a bit, but in vain

How do solar panels work?

There are generally two types of solar powered devices. Some are called solar panels, while others are solar collectors. What is the difference between them?

Solar battery - the combination of photoelectric converters (photocells) - semiconductor devices that directly convert solar energy into direct electric current.

solar collector - a device for collecting thermal energy of the Sun, carried by visible light and near infrared radiation. The solar collector collects heat by heating the coolant.

The solar collector is on the left and the solar battery is on the right

Shadow effect generator

In the period of the solar minimum, scientists from Singaporeoffered something different. The device works on the contrast of light and shadow, converting this very contrast into electricity. For convenience, the generator was nicknamed SEG (shadow effect energy generator). Contrast causes a potential difference - a necessary condition for the occurrence of current.

SEG is a set of cells on a transparentplastic wrap. These cells are nothing more than a gold film on a silicon wafer. Surprisingly, despite the presence of a gold film, SEG is cheaper than just silicon counterparts. But the pros do not end there. After conducting experiments, it became clear that in conditions of variable illumination, SEG is 2 times more efficient than solar batteries, and the maximum amount of electricity was obtained when half of the surface was illuminated and the other half was in the shade. The worst results were recorded in full light and full shadow.

You might be interested in: what will happen to the Sun in the future?

At the moment, SEG was created for smartphones andsmall consumer electronics requiring periodic recharging. Due to its focus on variable lighting, a shadow generator should replace solar panels in homes.

Also in SEG an interesting feature was discovered,which opens up a slightly different market for him. Due to the fact that the generator monitors the change in illumination, it can serve as an autonomous motion sensor. Scientists conducted another experiment, and the hunch was confirmed. When a person or pet casts even an intermittent shadow, the sensor starts and records. For alarm systems, this can be an interesting alternative to conventional sensors and cameras, since SEG is completely autonomous.

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Work on improving the generator continues: now scientists are trying to replace gold with another material in order to further reduce costs.

Where can I use the new shadow effect generator?

Shadow effect generator

The first thing that comes to mind is installation onelectric cars, which are allocated a whole section on our website. Since in the realities of life there is no such thing that all cars always stand completely lit. Somewhere a shadow casts a house, somewhere a tree, and sometimes the sun just shifts during the day, and the light falls. Provided that there will be many such “problems” in mass use, plus twice as effective SEG indicators will play a role, and this technology may be globalized.

Can electric cars be globalized, and how is this process going in Russia? Do not know, read here

The second is replacing current solar panels withthe market. At the moment, solar panels are so expensive that even if they obtain the desired autonomy, they will pay off extremely long. In some cases, the period of beating funds is achieved in 10-20 years. If SEG is twice as much effectivethen the game may be worth the candle. Will it be possible to implement what was conceived by Singaporean scientists, we will find out in the near future.

It is hoped that this invention will be a steptowards a green future, because, unlike most “green” inventions, SEG is not like an airplane, but rather cheaper and works better. In my opinion, if Singapore is not greedy and will make this generator available to all segments of the population, then it is lightning fast will conquer market.

Already use solar panels? If so, share in the comments or our telegram chat how you rate the new development of Singaporean scientists, and will you purchase such a generator for personal purposes?