New Method to Harness Energy from Household LED Lamps

Light-induced power generators are viable alternatives to batteries for powering the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, have developed a new photovoltaic material that can generate power when irradiated with light produced in household light sources like LED or CFL. Light-induced power generators are viable alternatives to batteries for powering the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, increasingly used in mobile phones, smartphones, and other applications that require various real-time data.

IoT devices are required to run independently without depending on electrical grids for power supply; primary and secondary batteries are currently used to power such devices. All batteries have a limited lifespan, a high cost, and are environmentally unfriendly. Since many IoT devices are used indoors, solar light is not an option. An alternative to this could be finding ways to harness light from indoor lighting sources to run indoor devices such as sensors, gadgets, Wi-Fi routers, RFID readers, etc.

The multi-institutional research team has developed thin-film efficient photovoltaic cells that can generate power from any light.  These cells are based on perovskites – a family of crystals that can absorb sunlight and generate power.  Perovskites have been studied for a long time for solar power generation. This team of researchers has explored new perovskite materials that can be used to harvest indoor artificial light and not just sunlight.

The study, published in the journalSolar Energy, has been co-authored by DrRanbir Singh, Ramanujam Fellow faculty, and Prof. Satinder Kumar Sharma, School of Computing & Electrical Engineering from IIT Mandi, along with Dr Vikrant Sharma, National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram; Dr Vivek Kumar Shukla, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida; and MritunjayaParashar, University of North Texas, Denton, USA.

“We have synthesized a photoactive quasi-cubic structured perovskite material by incorporating Formamidinium (FA+) cation in Methylammonium Lead Iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite material”, said Dr Ranbir Singh.

“The light absorption, morphology, charge transport, and electron trap states of the perovskites were examined, and the device physics under indoor lighting conditions has been explored in detail. The fabricated PVs demonstrated a photoelectric conversion efficiency of 34.07% within indoor illumination conditions,” Dr Singh added.

Indoor light-induced power generation will be increasingly sought shortly due to the exponential growth in the use of smart devices in applications such as wellness and health monitoring, smart homes, logistics, smart manufacturing, etc.

The photoelectric conversion efficiency values are on par with the best-in-class perovskites for indoor applications. This work presents a potential candidate for developing photovoltaic material to capture the energy of indoor light using quasi-cubic perovskites, researchers said in a statement. (India Science Wire)