Solar batteries without the charger? We’re working on that

Michael De Volder tells us how a Friday afternoon experiment led to research on a new low-cost battery design that can be charged directly by light without a separate solar cell or power converter.

A portable solar panel and charger lies on a beach. A new battery design from the IfM could eliminate the need for a separate solar cell and power converter. Image: Adobe Stock.

How does what you’re working on differ from conventional batteries?

Professor Michael De Volder and Dr Buddha Deka Boruah with the photo battery prototype. Image: Institute form Manufacturing.

You’ve said that this is a proof-of-concept and that further testing is needed. But what are some of the applications that you envision?

Given the possibilities here, the obvious question is: why hasn’t this been tried before? Where did the idea come from?

You’re still working on conversion efficiency, but have you made progress in other areas?

It sounds very exciting. What is the next step?

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