New Solar Display Units For Energy Harvesting

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Autonomous, mobile and decentralised power supply for the electrical operation of lighting equipment for information boards, of sensors and electrical components, of microsystems, smart phones and mobile computer technology is increasingly gaining importance. Under the spatial conditions of solar radiation autonomous power generation by solar cells is in many cases suitable to perform this task. In this case solar panels are used that generate electric energy in place and make it available via intermediate storage and an electronic management system in due time with the required current and voltage.

Up to now, the solar panels in use have occupied a separate space and needed areas to get mounted that do not always exist and should also be used otherwise.

A new technology is offered where the autonomous solar cells necessary for power generation are integrated directly into the display units and information carrier, therefore, not requiring extra place.The technology presented describes new display units with their display symbols- such as numbers, letters and pictograms- and furthter design features consisting of photovoltaic materials (solar cells) and formed of coloured fluorescence materials.

As display unit for warning of radioactive radiation, for instance, in accordance with Fig.1, a triangular-shaped optical substrate 1 of glass or plastic is used and solar cells 2 are applied in segments on its surface as a pictogram. After the electric wiring of the solar cell segments 2 is completed, the areas on the optical substrate that are not used by the solar cells are coated with a yellow fluorescence layer 3, also representing a design feature of the information carrier of the display unit. In such a way, the display symbols are formed by solar cells and a fluorescence layer. The solar cells applied in the form of segments deliver electric current that can be used for lighting the display units with light emtting diodes or for further autonomous consumers. Moreover, the yellow fluorescence layer located on the optical substrate and serving as display feature directs the radiation impinging on them to the segment-shaped solar cells, causing there a radiation concentration and current intensification.

The new display units generate electric power in place without an electric power network and with a low amount of maintance. When making use of them, no extra space is needed for the power generating solar panels. The solar cells are, e,g. directly integrated into advertising media, safely protected from theft and vandalism and do not affect the advertising representations. By intermediate storage of electric energy, the new display units can be used for the autonomous power supply of lighting systems, traffic and warning signs, sensor nets, alarm systems and further safety equipments as well as various devices. The use of new display units is an important contribution to autonomous power supply with technical saving effects and advantages for the environment and for the extension of solar technology.

The presented technology and devices are inexpensive and can be implemented easely using commercial materials and well-known technological steps.


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  • Name:
    Rudi Danz
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    development of new sensors and optical devices
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    use of solar energy to improve the environment
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