Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Solar Charging Would Significantly Augment Mobile Device Battery Power

  • It was recently reported that a GT Advanced Technologies process could be used to grow high-efficiency, thin-film solar cells with possible applications for mobile devices.
  • Solar-charging mobile devices would be desirable for manufacturers and consumers.
  • Here, I present calculations showing that solar charging would also provide significant augmentation to battery power.
  • Based on these calculations, I conclude that it is only a matter of time until solar-charged mobile devices become a reality.
  • I believe the companies that supply the solar-charging technology stand to benefit much more than the companies that make the mobile devices that use it.
A recent article on Seeking Alpha suggested that a GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) patent with applications for epitaxial-grown, thin-film, multi-junctional, high-efficiency PV cells will lead to solar-charged mobile devices. I have no doubt that such technology would be desirable to consumers and manufacturers, so long as it was not just a gimmick. By that, I mean it must actually provide a meaningful benefit. In particular, solar-charging capability would have to provide a meaningful increase to battery longevity. I was skeptical of a high-efficiency mobile-device-sized solar cell being able to supply enough power to do this, so I did some calculations to find some clarity. My conclusion is that solar charging would provide significant power advantages. So, if a method to manufacture durable, thin-film, high-efficiency solar cells in mobile-device-sized form-factors is developed, it is likely to be commercialized. Moreover, the companies (including perhaps GTAT) that can cost-effectively provide this technology stand to benefit.

Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2090203-solar-charging-would-significantly-augment-mobile-device-battery-power?source=google_news

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