From Sunlight to Moonlight: Sweden's solar cells to transform gadgets

The founder of the factory says these solar cells will soon be integrated into everyday tools like keyboards and headphones, revolutionizing our interaction with technology and our relationship with light.
Exeger's innovative cell, Powerfoyle. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Exeger's innovative cell, Powerfoyle. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Every six seconds, a secret printer in a factory north of Stockholm produces a panel of 108 small solar cells worth thousands of dollars.

The founder of the factory says these solar cells will soon be integrated into everyday tools like keyboards and headphones, revolutionizing our interaction with technology and our relationship with light.

Despite Sweden's minimal winter sunlight, Giovanni Fili, co-founder of Eexger, envisioned a new source of energy beyond the sun. Eexger's photovoltaic cells can generate power from any light source, including sunlight, candles, and even moonlight.

In an interview with an international newspaper, Giovanni explained, “Like algae that live in the depths of the ocean where there is total darkness, we can use the minimum possible amount of photons in new cells.”

Solar cells have been around for decades, with early examples powering indoor calculators in the 1970s. However, the silicon cells used then produced very little energy and were too sensitive to be integrated with devices beyond calculators.

The breakthrough for modern solar cells came in 1988 when scientists from the University of Berkeley developed semi-transparent, semi-flexible, low-cost, highly efficient dye-sensitive cells. This discovery paved the way for their commercial use.

Over 20 years later, Fili and his partner at Eexger, Henrik Lindström, created a new material about a thousand times more conductive than the previous one. This innovation led to their product, Powerfoyle cells—solar cells without a glass cover that are equally effective in the shade. Resembling skin, they can be used in manufacturing a wide range of products and are resistant to water, dust, and shattering.

The Eexger plant can produce 2.5 million square meters of solar cells annually, making it the largest in Europe. “Eexger technology will impact the lives of a billion people by 2030,” says Fili.

Currently, six products use Powerfoyle cells, including headphones, wireless headphones, and head protectors for cyclists. Fili highlights that the durability of Powerfoyle cells means there are virtually no limits to their application, except in power-intensive devices like laptops and mobile phones. However, Eexger is exploring the possibility of creating a tablet protector that eliminates the need for charging.

"Our grandchildren will laugh at us because we used wires," Fili added, noting that users of Powerfoyle products have become more aware of light in their lives, as light has come to symbolize energy.