Powerfoyle powers devices in low-light

A decade’s worth of R&D is about to pay off for Exeger, a Swedish start-up whose solar power product – Powerfoyle – can recharge electronic devices in low-light environments.

The material is screen-printed onto flexible plastic, then laminated, and follows the principle of photosynthesis to generate and store electricity. According to company founder, Giovanni Fili the material can be used on ‘walls, cars, roofs’ making solar power accessible in numerous settings.

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The company was reluctant to reveal light to power conversion per xcm2 but it did say that Powerfoyle is able to generate up to 100 per cent more power than flexible amorphous silicon depending on light conditions.

“The reason is due to its high performance and that we don’t have any conductive layers blocking the photons or silverlines, which also blocks 10-15 per cent of the active surface,” said  Nicklas Jonsson, Chief Product Officer at Exeger via email.

“Powerfoyle is also not as sensitive to light angles due to the DSC cell type. Partial shading is not a problem either,” he added. “This is something that can easily kill the performance of other cells, but Powerfoyle is not made up of several connected serial cells, it simply has one big cell which is made possible due to the nanomaterial innovation at Exeger.”

Exeger’s Powerfoyle is screen-printed onto flexible plastic

Jonsson said that products integrated with Powerfoyle have either aged, broken, or have aged faster than Powerfoyle, which also prolongs the battery life by reducing and avoiding the ageing process of full battery charge cycles.

Once integrated into a device a DC/DC boost converter matches the voltage of the battery.

“It is really very easy to connect with a plug or by soldering, and we provide this with a design reference for the Boost components,” Jonsson said.

The company, which has received over $20m in funding from Softbank in the past two years, is set to debut Powerfoyle in helmets made by POC that will have ‘smart’ technology integrated into them. The company has worked also with JBL on developing headphones.

In April 2020, Exeger was awarded the Grand Award of Design in Sweden, whose previous winners include Ericsson, Husqvarna and iZettle.