Power Film for Wireless Sensor Network Applications
In checking into the field again, I’m happy to find that solar cells have moved forward by a significant measure. In fact solar cells in the form of “thin films” is now a hot topic especially in the renewable energy space. One blogger calls 2007 the Year of the Thin Film. Solar cells come in flexible packaging making it easier to mount to a roof or attach to a device.
Power Film appears to b be a key player in this field. One can example of their work is the “Fusion” Solar Messenger Bag which won a CES award last year. They designed the solar panels into a carry on bag.
The company Power Film is based in Iowa and makes a thin film solar cell array that can be attached to wireless sensor network nodes to power them. They use a roll-to-roll manufacturing process that can create a 13 inch by 2400 ft long roll of flexible solar cell in a flexible plastic. They have a partnership with Hewlett-Packard for applying their thin film solar arrays to the back of flat panel displays.
According to their datasheet, they can generate up to 1000Watts/kg and claim to be the world’s lightest solar cell array panel.