Energy harvester leverages shadow contrast: Page 2 of 2

June 05, 2020 //By Julien Happich
Energy harvester
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have demonstrated a way to harness the so-called shadow effect, an optical-driven charge generation effect taking place across an unevenly lit material.

“The harvested energy from our generator in the presence of shadows arising at a very low intensity (0.0025 sun) can drive an electronic watch (1.2 V)” the authors wrote. What’s more, the SEG could also be used as a self-powered sensor for monitoring moving objects by tracking the movement of shadows. The researchers envisage that shadow-effect generators could be integrated in buildings to generate green energy from ambient conditions.

"Shadows are omnipresent, and we often take them for granted. In conventional photovoltaic or optoelectronic applications where a steady source of light is used to power devices, the presence of shadows is undesirable, since it degrades the performance of devices. In this work, we capitalised on the illumination contrast caused by shadows as an indirect source of power. This novel concept of harvesting energy in the presence of shadows is unprecedented," explained research team leader Assistant Professor Tan Swee Ching from NUS Materials Science and Engineering.

Next the researchers aim to experiment with other materials, besides gold, to reduce the cost of the SEG.

National University of Singapore - www.nus.edu.sg


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