UCLA Engineers use Photovoltaic Polarizers to Create Self-charging Devices

In my last article, I wrote about an app called DrainGuard that can help you monitor your battery usage in standby mode; still on that battery power tangent, how about a screen that recycles light energy well enough to charge the phone? Engineers at UCLA have developed a process for harvesting and recycling the light energy of LCDs in electronic devices. By equipping a LCD with their photovoltaic polarizers, the device can convert ambient light, sunlight, and its own backlight into usable electricity. The UCLA team explains that currently a device’s backlight is responsible for consuming around 80 to 90 percent of the battery and in the current design of LCDs, as much as 75 percent of light is simply lost. The polarizing organic photovoltaic cell can potentially harvest that 75 percent back into usable electricity. Essentially, as long as you have a light source, your phone may stay charged forever. The UCLA team, as well as the rest of us, hope to see technology manufacturers utilize this concept with future products.

[via UCLA]

  • Crackpot

    Sounds like a perpetual motion machine. Until I can buy one, just shut up about it.

  • mattj

    @crackpot: how so? Can you show that it violates the laws of thermodynamics? If the backlight really isthat inefficient, then no law need be violated.