The need for green energy is increasing these days. This need may be met by incorporating one technology with another inter dependable technology.
Usually optical fibers are used to transmit data by using light as the carrier way. Likewise photovoltaic layers produce energy on exposure to light. Thereby this product is the combination of these two ideas in a unique way.
A photovoltaic layer is introduced between the core and the cladding layer of the optical fiber. The refractive index of the photovoltaic layer is same as the core layer. As the core is the denser medium compared to the cladding the light travels through the whole length of the fiber by total internal reflection. The light is reflected back in to the medium at the photovoltaic layer - cladding interface.
This photovoltaic layer needs to be developed carefully as it has to be highly transparent with the required refractive index. Double crucible technique with a photovoltaic development unit, between the crucibles, can be used to develop the fiber. The process may consume time but the cost of manufacturing the fiber will be about 75% of a solar cell with the same efficiency.
The light wave passing through the fiber is usually maintained within a specific range of wavelength. Similarly the photovoltaic layer is also active only for a specific wavelength of light. This active region of the photovoltaic layer can be altered during the manufacturing process as per our requirement, which gives it a better efficiency.
This photovoltaic optical fiber can be used to substitute the present day optical fibers used in the field of data transfer and communication. An addition application is that this optical fiber in bundles can be used to give natural lighting to interior of buildings and other structures; it not only provides light or transfers data but also produces energy simultaneously. More than any other advantage this energy producing optical fiber doesn't need and specific working space like the solar cells or the wind mills.
With the above mentioned applications and advantages I am sure marketing the product will be no big task.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: S.nirmalesh Kumar
Type of entry: individual
Software used for this entry:
Solidworks, Catia, Ansys
Patent status: pending