New SEG technology extracts energy from a combination of light and shadow

Scientists from the National University of Singapore have developed SEG technology, which opens a new direction in the development of photovoltaic panels. Instead of trying to capture as much light as possible, this system uses a combination of illuminated and shaded areas of the surface. This not only eliminates dependence on the weather, but also allows you to create a new type of motion detectors.

Structurally, SEG-panels are very similar to solar photocells, only they are simpler - silicon plates coated with gold are laid on a plastic substrate. They are highly sensitive to light and can build up a charge under both light and dark conditions, but the charge is small. But the potential difference between light and dark areas is very significant, which generates voltage and serves to generate electric current.

To generate energy, such panels need to be partially illuminated and partially darkened, ideally in a 1: 1 area ratio. This ensures uniform energy production and allows such a panel to produce twice as much energy as an analogue, which is entirely exposed to light. Since the shadow can be created artificially, it is not a problem to design a system that would maintain the balance of shadows as the luminous flux changes during the day.

Another interesting area of ​​application for SEG panels is motion detectors. If the panel is placed in a lighted corridor, it will generate a small amount of energy. But as soon as a shadow from a person passing by falls on it, the generation will increase sharply, which will become a signal for the security system. All that remains is to figure out how to replace expensive gold so that such systems become widespread.