A Japanese research group from Kogakuin University have displayed a prototype translucent lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery that can charge using sunlight alone, without a solar cell!
With this new class of battery, the main aim of the group that has developed it is to create a “smart window” that acts as both battery and photo-voltaic cell, adjusting its opacity when in power collection mode and increasing it’s transparency when in window mode.
This style of transparent battery was first announced in 2013 but after tweaking the components the research group have managed to get the cell to self-charge using bright light which is the breakthrough that has pushed this concept back into the news.
The main components of the battery are already used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries so getting this product out to market shouldn’t be too much of a hard push.
Better battery technology is the holy grail of smartphone and mobile technology and this may be one way that manufacturers can expand the life of their devices, there could be a future where smartphones have a twin battery system, increasing capacity and if not giving you indefinite battery life, then at least the opportunity to leave your phone on the window sill and eek out a few more minutes of precious battery life!
Source & Photo: Nikkei