London, San Francisco- Researchers in Germany have successfully developed new “smart” solar sunglasses that can generate power from the solar cells in their lenses.
The solar cells supply a microprocessor and two displays with electric power, displaying the solar illumination intensity and ambient temperature – and the glasses can even use some of the energy to power devices such as phones and hearing aids.
Organic solar cells are contained within the lenses in the sunglasses. The cells are photovoltaic, and are comprised of organic electronics that are flexible enough to be made into a variety of shapes and colors.
The invention can pave the way for other future applications such as the integration of organic solar cells into windows or overhead glazing, the researchers said.
“We bring solar power to places where other solar technologies fail,” said Alexander Colsmann, from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany.
“The Solar Glasses we developed are an example of how organic solar cells may be employed in applications that would not be feasible with conventional photovoltaics,” PhD student Dominik Landerer at KIT and an author of the study said in a press release.
The solar sunglasses work best in direct sunlight, but they can also work in dimmer lighting environments, such as inside a home or office.