Peafowl Plasmonics
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Peafowl Plasmonics

Locally produced

Why local production is gaining ground and companies like Peafowl Solar Power are in the forefront

As grocery shoppers we have been made aware that we could and should make a difference in what we choose to buy. By choosing locally produced foods we support local farmers and limit shipping, which reduces emissions from transport. We are also encouraged to (re)turn to shop according to how crops are grown seasonally, which could be a challenge for us up in northern Europe, but this trend has also brought with it the revival of cabbage, kale, turnip and beet that used to be neglected and dwindling.

Local production has also gained a new significance when it comes to supply of critical products and components, for example medical equipment supply in time of a pandemic or semiconductors that are in high demand by different industry sectors simultaneously, leading to a global supply shortage. Several countries and regions consider or decide to move production closer, locally, to avoid being dependent on other countries’ goodwill and fragile supply chains in times of crisis.

Sweden does not have energy shortage, some claim, but still there is power shortages in southern parts of the country. This is due to the fact that energy is produced mainly in the north, and not enough of it can be transmitted to where it’s needed, in the south. Much effort is being made to produce more energy locally in the south, by wind and sun for example. Due to the limit in transmission capacity but also because the energy produced in the north is expected to be needed there, by newly established and power demanding industries, the south is forced to produce more energy locally. To produce energy, when and where we need it might just be the direction where we all are heading.

Local energy production is relevant not only on the macro scale, where we supply homes, offices and industries with a reliable power supply on the grid, but also on the micro scale, where small, low-power devices operate independently of the grid. Conventionally, these would be powered by batteries that store energy produced in a different location and time, but there are huge gains to be made if we could instead produce this energy where it is used. With batteries, it is not only the energy used by the device that is consumed, but also the energy to produce the battery, the energy for recycling and the energy that is lost in storage and conversion. Additionally, batteries contain rare and toxic materials that have negative implications for both environment and society.

The beauty of Peafowl solar cells is that they can harvest light wherever they are placed, both indoor and outdoor, to generate energy for low-power applications. The power is being generated when and where it’s used, eliminating transmission and conversion issues. Since the solar cells are completely transparent, they are suitable to be placed anywhere without blocking the view or changing the design or size of the product itself. This way they can be invisibly implemented to add self-powering functionality to IoT sensors, displays and windows, for example.

Local production for sustainability reasons have inspired us to design our cells to be printed in a low-temperature process, using a commercially available inkjet printer, which keeps the energy consumption low. This process can be integrated in the production line where the product is being manufactured, locally, and thereby limiting shipping and transport emissions. With our technology, we hope to contribute to the innovative development necessary to find new sustainable ways to produce and use what we need, when and where we need it!

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