Most solar panels and photovoltaic surfaces are dark in color, limiting their application to things you don't need to see through. But a breakthrough technology proves that sometimes what you get is much more than what you see.
There was a time when the only place for solar panels was high atop the roof of a home or residence. Now, thanks to smaller, thinner and more versatile solar-powered technology, lots of different surfaces are candidates for energy generation.
A French company recently demonstrated the amazing capabilities of their wafer-thin, flexible, (and most importantly) transparent photovoltaic film that allows light to pass through a semi-cylindrical lens onto thin strips of photovoltaic cells below, while allowing the surface underneath to show through.
Based on a principal of optics, Wysips ("What you see is photovoltaic surface") technology builds solar panels into a surface without changing its appearance. Wysips seamlessly integrates into screens, glass, fabrics, sails, plastics, and makes them all into photovoltaic energy sources.
The possibilities for this type of power-generating technology are endless. The company is already experimenting with window blinds and textiles, street furniture and advertising, sail boats and other leisure equipment, as well as other specialized applications.
But initially (and most exciting for tech geeks like us) Wysips has chosen to focus their first development efforts on applications like mobile phones, LCD screens, digital tablets, technical textiles, outdoor displays, etc. Because the film is accurate to within a pixel. this technology can provide a high-definition solution applicable to all types of screens. Just like touch screen technology, Wysips is designed to become an integral part of the screen, making possible for all mobile phones to produce their own power12 in the very near future.
The company recently showed off a prototype smartphone where the touchscreen display itself housed the solar-soaking cells. On their site, they say "two billion mobile phones featuring Wysips technology... that’s one gigawatt of power produced, or the equivalent of a nuclear power plant."
Not too shabby.