Wysips, the first transparent solar film, turns almost anything into a power source, without turning it ugly. The film's thin strips of solar cells alternate with transparent areas. Lenses sit above the solar cells, hiding them from the viewer, while the transparent strips show what's beneath the film. Wysips can be added during manufacturing to many materials, including glass, plastic and fabric. It will appear on a commercial cellphone screen next fall, powering 30 minutes of use from an hour of light, and should be on billboards by 2013.
cool and imagine em onw windows, just how sturdy is this stuff though ?
Great - now how about incorporating it into auto exteriors to help power electric & hybrid vehicles, or the gadgets in "regular" cars / trucks / RVs, etc?
Imagine every window in the country ( or the world ) coated with power producing film.
Not enough to power a whole American home yet, but overall this would add up to a vast amount.
Even on a large cellphone, this film would be lucky to generate 50 mW in direct sunlight. One hour of this would produce 50 mWH, of course, whereas a typical cellphone battery holds about 5 WH of power-- so for a phone with 10 hours of talk time, this one hour of charging would add about 6 minutes of talk time.
And of course, no cellphone is designed to survive sitting in direct sunlight for an hour, so nobody will actually do that. At least not twice.
In indoor lighting, this solar film wouldn't generate more than a few milliwatts of power, so even if you left the phone on a table all day long you'd only get a few more minutes of talk time.
Look, I know there are plenty of calculators and wristwatches that can run just fine on tiny solar cells. But calculators and wristwatches use microwatts of power, not the hundreds of milliwatts consumed by an operating cellphone. This film is too weak by several orders of magnitude to be useful in that application.
So I think this film has nothing more than novelty value. Some cellphone company might use it to get some extra sales from ignorant environmental fetishists, but it won't do their customers any actual good.
I wish your reporters had the knowledge and skills to filter out this kind of nonsense.
Robert1234 The technical writer says "...30 minutes per hour of use from an hour of light..." but you know more than the writer just from reading the short article? I wish the computers had the knowledge and skills to filter out this kind of comment.
Unlike pglaskowsky, Robert1234 and the technical writer haven't done their homework on solar cell output - or - cell phone power requirements. There is no solar technology that can produce enough power for 30 minutes' worth of talk time from an array the size of a cellphone, period. Especially when, as the writer noted, less than half of the available area actually has solar cells. I agree with pglaskowsky's assessment of the utility of the technology. Until the power output of solar cells reaches the same relative value as the difference between the "lemon batteries" we made as kids in science class and a heavy duty truck battery, this film will remain a novelty item. Do the math on the power requirements to "light up" even a new LED billboard vs. the power they can generate based on square footage and you will see that "this dog won't hunt", either.
How can a publication like Popular Science be so careless in it's write up if this film really can't power anything near the 3o mintues claimed? It makes me wonder whether to peruse any more articles on this website. (i.e. credibility!)
I think the key issue in this popsci article are the words "30 minutes of use". There is a big difference in the power required to simply have the phone turned on as opposed to talk time. I think the article could have been clearer as to what "use" meant.
Hello, morons. They did specify what they were talking about. You can't discuss the amount of time this would run a phone without details on the phone.
Instead, take what they said litereally and make no assumptions. It appears on a ***cell phone screen*** which is sold separately as a component to lots of different manufacturers. The cell phone screen can be used for 30 minutes for every 60 min of charging. If you want to run other features of the cell phone (the processor, the transmitter, etc.) you'll take away from the minutes the screen can be run.
Stop assuming things that aren't in the article. It talked about cell phone screens, not cell phones, and if you do your research, you'll see that 6 minutes of talk time isn't far off (in fact a little generous) for what they're claiming in terms of mWh. They knew exactly what they were talking about. You just forgot to read only what was on the page and no add in things not mentioned in the sentence. Like talk time.
So, your thesis is that PS was being deliberately deceptive? A reasonable person would infer from "30 minutes of use", when describing the use of this film on a cell phone, that they are speaking of "use of the device", rather than one small part of it. It seems you would be fine with a tire manufacturer claiming 1,000,000 miles of normal wear for their tires, while failing to mention this metric only applies to tires rolled along a smooth path, without the inconvenience of being mounted on a vehicle. One might think that, unlike us morons, you're an apologist for the writer, or perhaps an advertising copywriter, or a politician.
Oh, I omitted the profession of lawyer...how could I have forgotten them?