The “photocapacitor” aka solar cell and battery combined

Scientists at the Toin University in Yokohama have created the “photocapacitor”, a device that can convert solar energy into electricity and then store the resulting electric charge.

capacitator.bmpConventional solar cells need a secondary device, such as a battery, to store the electrical power generated from light. The photocapacitor combines the photoelectric and storage functions in a single structure.

“The photocapacitor is twice as efficient as traditional silicon-based solar cells in utilising weak light,” explains researcher Tsutomu Miyasaka. “This means that it can utilise indirect sunlight, for example on cloudy or rainy days, and even indoor light. Moreover, it can release electrical energy anytime, even in the dark.”

The photocapacitor could be handy to power mobile phones and other hand-held devices.

Via Fun / Foon Tokyo PhysicsWeb.