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A low-cost supercapacitor as a power storage for indoor light energy harvesting

A research paper "Behaviour of one-step spray-coated carbon nanotube supercapacitor in ambient light harvester circuit with printed organic solar cell and electrochromic display" published in Nature Scientific Reports.
(a) A circuit used for the supercapacitor (SC) (c) charging with the organic photovoltaic (OPV) module (b). (d) A circuit used for the electrochromic display (e) operation with SC.
(a) A circuit used for the supercapacitor (SC) (c) charging with the organic photovoltaic (OPV) module (b). (d) A circuit used for the electrochromic display (e) operation with SC.

A research paper "Behaviour of one-step spray-coated carbon nanotube supercapacitor in ambient light harvester circuit with printed organic solar cell and electrochromic display" by Sampo Tuukkanen, Marja Välimäki, Suvi Lehtimäki, Tiina Vuorinen & Donald Lupo was recently published in Scientific Reports journal published by the Nature Group. Tuukkanen is working at TUT's Dept. Automation Science and Engineering (ASE), while Välimäki is from VTT Oulu, and Lehtimäki, Vuorinen and Lupo are working at TUT's Dept. Electronics and Communications Engineering (ELT). The paper reports the use of a low-cost supercapacitor as a power storage in an indoor light energy harvesting circuit. Scientific Reports is an open access journal which has a julkaisufoorumi level 2 (JUFO2) and an Impact factor of 5.578. 

Abstract: A printed energy harvesting and storage circuit powered by ambient office lighting and its use to power a printed display is reported. The autonomous device is composed of three printed electronic components: an organic photovoltaic module, a carbon-nanotubes-only supercapacitor and an electrochromic display element. Components are fabricated from safe and environmentally friendly materials, and have been fabricated using solution processing methods, which translate into low-cost and high-throughput manufacturing. A supercapacitor made of spray-coated carbon nanotube based ink and aqueous NaCl electrolyte was charged using a printed organic photovoltaic module exposed to office lighting conditions. The supercapacitor charging rate, self-discharge rate and display operation were studied in detail. The supercapacitor self-discharge rate was found to depend on the charging rate. The fully charged supercapacitor was used as a power source to run the electrochromic display over 50 times.

Reference: Behaviour of one-step spray-coated carbon nanotube supercapacitor in ambient light harvester circuit with printed organic solar cell and electrochromic display, Sampo Tuukkanen, Marja Välimäki, Suvi Lehtimäki, Tiina Vuorinen, and Donald Lupo, Scientific Reports 6 (2016) 22967, doi:10.1038/srep22967.

News submitted by: Sampo Tuukkanen
Keywords: science and research, energy harvesting, supercapacitor