Recent Progress in Solar Cell Technology for Low-Light Indoor Applications

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Soyeon Kim , Muhammad Jahandar , Jae Hoon Jeong , Dong Chan Lim* .

Journal Name: Current Alternative Energy

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Abstract:

Photovoltaic cells have recently attracted considerable attention for indoor energy harvesting for low-power-consumption electronic products due to the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT platform is being developed with a vision of connecting a variety of wireless electronic devices, such as sensors, household products, and personal data storage devices, which will be able to sense and communicate with their internal states or the external environment. A self-sustainable power source is required to power such devices under low light indoor environments. Inorganic photovoltaic cells show excellent device performance under 1 Sun illumination and dominate the market for outdoor applications. However, their performance is limited for indoor applications with low incident light intensities as they exhibit low photo-voltage. Among the emerging photovoltaic technologies, organic photovoltaics have unique advantages, including solution processibility, flexibility, and lightweight tailorable design; hence, they are considered the best solution for indoor light harvesting applications due to their high photo-voltage, strong absorption of UV-visible wavelengths, and a spectral response similar to that emitted by modern indoor lighting systems. In this review article, we discuss the factors affecting device performance of different photovoltaic technologies under low incident light intensities or indoor conditions and provide a comprehensive analysis of future opportunities for enhancing indoor performance of the photovoltaic devices. Furthermore, we discuss some of the results of semi-transparent organic solar cell which operated under complex environmental conditions like low illumination, incident light angle and etc. Based on the results, one can suggest that semi-transparent organic solar cell is a more suitable case for progressive indoor solar cell. After highlighting the factors that limit indoor device performance of photovoltaic cells, we discuss potential applications of IoT devices powered by organic photovoltaic cells in indoor lighting environments.

Keywords: Photovoltaics, low-light intensity, indoor lights, indoor photovoltaics, transparent OPV, IoT

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1570180816666190112141857

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