With today’s smartphones, you will get disappearing headphone jacks, unbreakable screens, and many other features. One of the most frustrating things that is not going to disappear any soon is the fast-draining lithium-ion batteries.
Even the latest handsets powered with the most robust features rarely managed to last longer than a day – and that at minimal usage. If you use your mobile as usual, it is likely to drain in a few hours.
But why do we rely on lithium-ion batteries? Isn’t there a sure-shot way that keeps our smartphone batteries charged for longer? Let’s get answers to these questions in this article.
An Alternative to Lithium-ion Batteries
The answer is right above our heads, and that seems to be an optimal solution. Yes, the sun and the idea of utilizing solar energy to keep our phones up and running are brilliant. But is that a feasible solution to the smartphone battery problems?
Photovoltaic panels or solar panels can be seen above the houses and commercial buildings. With newer innovations, these panels can be seen integrated into smaller products such as backpacks and speakers.
Even the major manufacturers, including Samsung and Apple, are looking to utilize solar energy in their products. The question is if the photovoltaic plates would be able to solve the smartphone battery woes, such as why the iPhone keeps overheating.
Maybe or maybe not.
If continued research is done in a sustainable way, solar-powered batteries can be invented to replace lithium-ion batteries.
Failed Trials Refrain Brands from Inventing Solar-Charged Phones
Samsung manufactured solar-charged phones back in 2009, so it was officially the first inventor of solar-powered phones.
Guru E1107, or Solar Guru, was introduced in India intending to address the power outage issues. One hour of solar charge provided 10 to 15 minutes of talk time which was not feasible.
A couple of months later, Samsung launched Blue Earth – another solar-powered device. The product was introduced to a wider market, including the United Kingdom; however, the manufacturer rolled back shortly after due to the lower sales figure.
In 2010, Puma and Sagem teamed up to launch a new innovation – Puma Phone. The handset was powered with solar panels that also integrated fitness features like a GPS chip and step tracker chip.
The headset failed to impress the buyers. Despite the lower power needs of the device, the efficiency wasn’t high enough.
These innovations and launches were nothing more than failed trials. The smaller sales figures refrained the big brands from trying anything new in this area.
After proper solar charging, the phones were able to harvest enough energy to keep the device on standby mode. But the talk time offered by a fully charged mobile was not sufficient, which questions the efficiency and feasibility of these phones.
While the prototype models are still under study, the latest innovations in the field of solar-charged mobile phones come with improved output. However, one minute of talk time after charging the phone for three minutes doesn’t seem practical.
However, one amazing thing about solar-powered phones is that the photovoltaic plates are placed right into the screen, so they don’t interfere with the design. The manufacturer ensures that the screen quality is not compromised and that sufficient energy is promised.
The Future of Solar-Powered Phones
The latest prototypes can pave the way for the introduction of more advanced solar-powered phones. Many companies are working to deliver more sustainable solutions that can replace photovoltaic plates.
The latest invention in this area is a kind of technology that looks like an invisible coating. This element can transform anything into a solar panel to enable holding sun energy efficiently.
The traditional solar power was made of dark materials since darker and denser elements are known to absorb more heat and light. However, contrary to science, the newer solar panels are likely to comprise organic molecules.
These organic molecules can efficiently absorb both infrared and ultraviolet rays alike. So, these invisible coatings can be a clear sheet since these rays are not visible to human eyes.
You must be wondering how this invisible coating is going to work. Right? Well, when the photons hit the coating, the electrons will come into action and will start flowing as the electric current to charge the device.
To gaze into the future of solar-powered smartphone technology, we need to find answers to several questions such as:
- How much energy is sufficient to charge up a standard smartphone?
- What is the total time that a smartphone would need to charge up completely?
- How much talk time and messaging time would a fully charged phone offer?
- What that solar panel or invisible coating would look like?
Finding answers to these questions is challenging. However, sustainable research can help get a solution that can help innovate the ways the batteries are charged today.