Could OLED Displays With Solar Panels Lead to Self-Sustained Smartphones?

Now that the push into HD displays, quad-core processors and 4G LTE radios is in full swing a lot of manufacturers are looking into ways of making their device’s battery life last more than a couple of hours. We told you about how Samsung was going to look at tweaking radios for better battery life, Motorola is releasing phones with giant 3300mAh batteries and so on. Well others are looking into more efficient smartphones in a completely different direction. 

Arman Ahnood, a researcher for the London Centre for Nanotechnology has a prototype that uses solar cells to collect wasted energy from OLED displays. Relying on an array of solar panels that both surround and sit beneath the display, the system averages 11 percent energy capture efficiency that peaks at 18 percent efficiency. Before you scoff at that realise that there is still room for improvement.

According to Ahnood, only 36 percent of light generated is projected outward. Right now, this system is able to generate five milliwatts of additional power on a 3.7 inch screen but it shows considerable promise for the future. So while we may have a while before this becomes a mainstay in our phones it’s nice to see that the battery life issue is finally being addressed. Hit the source to read in detail about this upcoming technology.

[via IEEE Spectrum by Engadget]

» See more articles by Jack Holt


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  • Zomby2D

    It’d be nice if our phones and tablets could use back some of the wasted energy to prolong battery life. Assuming it doesn’t drive the cost up, of course.

  • Paul

    Silly notion, my phone is in my pocket practically all day. Ain’t no sunshine in my pocket…

    • Jack Holt

      Tentatively, the solar cells would recollect energy given off by the display when the display is on. It’s an attempt at getting rid of some of the inefficient energy waste given off by the OLED displays.