This Startup Looks to Displace Batteries with Hyper-Efficient Solar Panels

This Startup Looks to Displace Batteries with Hyper-Efficient Solar Panels

Europe’s Exeger’s Powerfoyle are a new line of hyper efficient dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) that aim to make indoor solar a reality. These low-cost, high-efficiency and flexible cells might soon make their way into our devices. In fact, it’s already in a few.

Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, Exeger’s factory spews out 2.5 million square meters of solar cells per year, making it the largest factory of its kind in Europe. Co-founder Fili predicted that Exeger’s technology will “touch the lives of a billion people by 2030.”

Offering a radical departure from traditional glass-covered panels, Powerfoyle solar cells eliminate the need for the silver lines needed as conductors. They’re not affected by partial shading either, something which decreases the efficiency of PV panels. The patented skin-like material can even morph into almost any material to allow for seamless integration into a huge range of products, while remaining waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. Like the algae on the ocean floor, the technology is capable of making use of very few photons.

“It works in any light condition, it’s more durable than any other solar cell in the world, it’s easy to manufacture, and it can imitate any surface – leather, carbon fibre, wood, brushed steel. It’s also beautiful,” Fili says. “So, we can integrate into products that are already selling in the billions of units per year.” Powerfoyle solar cells can be found in seven products as of writing this article, including the Adidas RPT-02 SOL, a pair of on-ear wireless headphones.

Joining the likes of Ambient Photonics, Exeger is also looking to get rid of batteries in our devices. The difference comes in implementation. Ambient Photonics’ DSSCs have so far been integrated into remote controls, though limitations with the amount of heat and light they can be exposed to mean the technology is currently limited to indoor applications. The flexibility and durability of Exeger’s Powerfoyle means that the only limitations are energy intensive devices like laptops and smartphones, which could still stand to benefit from the technology, offering 50-100% more battery life. Exeger is also exploring a solar-powered tablet cover that could provide enough power for infrequent users to never need to charge.

Powerfoyle users have started becoming ‘light conscious’, becoming much more aware of their surroundings and the presence of light in their lives.

Co-founder Fili is adamant in his belief that Powerfoyle is an era-defining technology. Exeger is the first to commercialise the technology at this scale, with Fili viewing everyone on the planet as a potential user.


By Yash Singh

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