Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, India, is developing a battery that charges directly from light.
Under artificial light, this prototype battery has a capacity of 77.8 mAh/g. It’ll quite happily power a small fan or LED light for about 30 seconds, and then if you give it a break for 30 seconds while shining a light on it, it’ll be all charged up and good to go again. Over 100 cycles, the battery retained a bit over 70 percent of its discharge capacity, which at least suggests some potential for longevity and usefulness.
According to a press release from the American Chemical Society, “the researchers say their design is a promising first step toward a more sustainable and safer battery technology.” In other words, this is a thing that does cool stuff in a lab right now, but getting your hopes up for a light-powered battery in your cell phone might be premature by a decade or so.