none

NEW TRANSPARENT BATTERY THAT CHARGES ITSELF WITH SUNLIGHT

21-09-2015
by 
in 

Japanese researchers have developed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can charge itself using sunlight with no solar cell required.

The working prototype was demonstrated at the Innovation Japan 2015 trade show in Tokyo recently.

The research team hopes to see the technology integrated into a ‘smart window’ that can act as both a large rechargeable battery and a photovoltaic cell all at once.

The team, led by Mitsunobu Sato, professor at the Department of Applied Physics at Kogakuin University in Japan, announced the development of the device nearly two years ago.

They have since been working toward a battery-integrated window that can store energy from sunlight while also changing its structure automatically to provide a tint during the day. 

When the battery is exposed to sunlight, it becomes tinted to about 30 percent light transmittance, and this allows the energy to be captured more efficiently, says Bob Yirka at techxplore. 

"The trick in getting them to be nearly transparent is in making them really thin - the electrodes are just 80 nm and 90 nm," he says, "After discharge, the team reports that light transmittance rises to approximately 60 percent." 

How did they make the electrodes so thin? Back in 2013, the main component of the electrolyte for the battery's positive electrode was lithium iron phosphate, and for the electrolyte used for the negative electrode, they used lithium titanate and lithium hexafluorophosphate – both of which are commonly used in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

For the prototype that was put on display in Tokyo last month, they altered the transparent oxides used for the negative electrode to achieve incredibly thin, transparent electrodes.

While they’re yet to publish details on what these changes were, they were able to facilitate charging via sunlight or other bright sources of illumination.

In testing, the team reports an output from the battery of 3.6 volts, and say they managed to successfully complete 20 charge/discharge cycles. 

Sato and his team are looking at the prospect of “smart windows” with the new technology.

Another possibility is self-charging smartphone screens made from transparent lithium-ion batteries. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 15.11.2018
    15.11.2018
    by      In
    It’s less than a year since Lapp Australia started trading, but the company has swiftly established itself in the local market, with significant penetration in sectors such as food and beverage, manufacturing, solar, sound and stage production, electrical contracting, machine building and... Read More
  2. 12.11.2018
    12.11.2018
    by      In
    Energy Vault has developed a novel solution to storage for renewable energy plants that involves neither batteries nor water.
    The Energy Vault system is based on the fundamental physics of potential and kinetic energy, and uses a proprietary, cloud-based software platform to operate a newly... Read More
  3. 07.11.2018
    07.11.2018
    by      In
    With a combination of its industry-leading fans and energy-efficient lighting products, Big Ass is improving working conditions in Australia and around the globe.
    Blazing Queensland temperatures and humidity were creating uncomfortable working conditions at XL Service Bodies, an industry-leading... Read More
  4. 07.11.2018
    07.11.2018
    by      In
    ABB has thrown its weight behind the OPC Foundation in its bid to define the worldwide industrial interoperability standard. The new Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture (OPC UA) standard has the potential to enable industrial players to unlock the full potential of Industry 4.0.
    OPC UA... Read More