Shadow Effect Energy Generator – New Breakthrough in Low Cost Technology For All Electronics Charging Needs

  • In the SEG device, the contrast in lighting causes a potential difference between the sections that the light falls on and does not fall on.
  • SEG contains a set of cells located on a flexible and transparent plastic film.
  • The interesting property of SEG follows from the principle of operation: the dependence of electricity generation on the position of shadows.

Scientists from the National University of Singapore have come up with, assembled and tested a device that converts the contrast in illumination between light and shadow on its surface into electricity; a device called a generator that runs on the shadow effect (shadow effect energy generator — SEG).

The National University of Singapore is a national research university founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School. NUS is the oldest higher education institution in Singapore.

Shadow Charging Object.

In the SEG device, the contrast in lighting causes a potential difference between the sections that the light falls on and does not fall on. The potential difference is a necessary condition for the occurrence of an electric current. A simple idea in the original design easily fits into the surrounding reality and does not require special conditions for implementation.

SEG contains a set of cells located on a flexible and transparent plastic film. Each cell is a thin gold film deposited on a silicon wafer. Despite the precious metal in the design, SEG will cost much less than silicon solar panels. Are there any other advantages besides the price?

The interesting property of SEG follows from the principle of operation: the dependence of electricity generation on the position of shadows. The power generator can serve as an Autonomous sensor for monitoring moving objects. When a person, pet, or robot passes by the SEG, the cast intermittent shadow triggers a sensor to record the presence and movement of the object.

Key Characteristics of the Different Energy Harvesters.

Experiments conducted by the development team showed that the new device is twice as likely to be  more efficient than solar cells in variable light conditions. The maximum amount of electricity is generated when half of the device’s surface is illuminated and the other half is in shadow.

The generator is charged when it is completely in the light or in the shade. Contrary to the other energy harvest technologies, which requires complex design, intricate engineering and expensive raw materials, the fabrication of the SEG can be done at extremely low cost and does not involve any harmful chemicals nor intricate synthesis protocols

SEG is designed to power smartphones, smartwatches, and other mobile devices that require constant charging. In conditions of variable illumination, which usually occurs in rooms, a shadow generator will serve as a good alternative to solar panels.

Researchers recorded a breakthrough in the field of battery technology in the scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science titled “Energy harvesting from shadow-effect.” The full work is available here.

It took a group of six people four months to understand, develop and improve the device. In the next stage, the team of scientists will try to replace gold with another material to reduce the cost of SEG. It is an exciting new technology that could be a great alternative for electronic devices that need charging as well as having broader applications.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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