Fujitsu Unveils New Solar Hybrid Technology

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd has announced the development of a new hybrid energy harvesting system that generates electricity from either heat or light using a single device. 
  
While other similar hybrid technologies usually combine two devices, Fujitsu Laboratories developed an organic material that is suitable for a generator in both photovoltaic and thermoelectric modes.  
  
By changing the electrical circuits connecting two types of semiconductor materials – P-type and N-type semiconductors – the device can function as a solar cell or thermoelectric generator. The material can produce power from even indoor lighting in photovoltaic mode, and from heat in thermoelectric mode. If either the ambient light or heat is not sufficient to power the sensor on their own, the technology could draw on bother both sources simultaneously.
  
Since the organic material and its process cost are inexpensive, production costs can be greatly reduced.
  
Fujitsu says the hybrid device will pave the way to the widespread use of the technology, particularly in the use of sensors in previously unserved applications and regions and in medical-sensing technologies. 
  
In medical fields, the technology could be used in sensors that monitor conditions such as body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate – without any wiring or batteries required.  Additionally, the technology could be applied in environmental sensing in remote areas for weather forecasting, where financial or logistical challenges exist in replacing batteries or running mains grid power.
  
Fujitsu Laboratories says it will continue with further development of this new solar technology to increase the performance of hybrid devices and aims to commercialise the technology by around 2015.