Scientists Working on Solar-Powered Smartphone Battery

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The days of the dying smartphone battery could be coming to an end: a team of scientists have begun work on a special smartphone battery powered by solar energy.

The team of scientists, who originate from McGill University in Montreal, partnered with Canadian utility company Hydro-Quebec to develop the battery, which uses light-harvesting materials to generate power.

The team believes that their solar-powered battery could result in self-charging smartphones or devices with considerably longer lasting batteries, although the possibility of either is still a long way off.

What that means for us consumers is a smartphone battery that lasts longer than a single day, perhaps multiple days or up to a week, and the ability to use more apps on our smartphone for longer without having to worry about the battery running out.

Indeed, smartphone battery tests conducted by Expert Reviews found that the majority of batteries found in smartphones today last between seven to 13 hours when in continual use, so roughly half a day per charge.

The team created the battery by using dye-synthesized solar cell technology: a special photosensitive dye was added to the battery’s to simulate a solar-powered charging process.

Tests conducted on the solar-powered battery revealed the generation of small amounts of power, and the next step for the team is to finish developing the battery’s anode, which will be responsible for receiving and storing solar energy.

If the team is successful in its endeavours, it will result in the world’s first self-charging lithium-ion battery but they acknowledge that such an achievement is still years away.

Speaking about the battery, Andrea Paolella of Hydro-Quebec said:

‘Theoretically speaking, our goal is to develop a new hybrid solar-battery system, but depending on the power it can generate when we miniaturise it, we can imagine applications for portable devices such as phones.’

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