Friday, July 29, 2011

Concept solar powered charger: World's most efficient 'green' device

In the world of renewable energies and green products, solar powered chargers have the serious potentiality to defy the main electricity grids, at least for charging of small appliances. However, some inherent predicaments continue to plague the efficiency factor of this seemingly ingenious domain of contraptions, some being related to the availability of direct sunlight and some concerning the angle of incidence of sunlight. Now, designer Nikolay Bastrakov has made use of existing technologies to contrive his own version of a solar charger, whose intrinsic system counters the conventional problems to efficiently generate higher degree of power output. Hence, we daresay, his design can be lauded as one of the world’s most efficient solar powered chargers.

 Before starting with his design process, Bastrakov made certain that his device would be based upon the user convenience of compactness, portability, and aesthetics. The dimensions of the main form were conceived in accordance with a mobile battery system, which in turn could be attached easily to a backpack. The compact form itself was made from silicone with an additional coating of the polymer film to form a singular structural element. This advanced polymer composite technology allows us to infuse lightness, sturdiness, and resistance into a single form.

Coming to the most important element, the designer had used ‘thin film’ solar cells, which were assembled on a common substrate, and this substrate was connected to the main control unit housed in a silicone cell. The advantages of thin film solar cells makes it possible for them to absorb solar radiation in two color spectrum (instead of one), which in turn allows them to be effective on even cloudy days. Moreover, the Fresnel lens used by the designer makes the angle of incidence closer to 90 degrees (80 - 100 degrees is required for optimum efficiency).

Finally, coming to the main component, the flexible control unit comprises of the converter, a small battery, microprocessor (connected to sensors), and a display unit for interaction (showing on/off, battery charge, and other functions) with the user. This display system utilizes electronic ink, which does not emanate or reflect light, thus making it convenient for user to see during bright sunny conditions. The overall bendable control unit can be attached to bags and backpacks to accentuate upon their degree of portability. [Article & Images via]

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