Solar cell powers LG e-reader

LG Display has developed a solar-powered e-reader, which it says gives a day’s power after four or five hours in the sun.

The Solar Cell e-Book is based around a 100m solar cell just 0.7mm thick and weighing 20g. It fits the six-inch TFT LCD display panel which the company already produces.

Produced by placing electrodes onto a glass or plastic substrate, the cell is lighter than the standard type of crystalline solar cell based on silicon wafers, says LG, and means process efficiency can be raised through increasing the substrate size. Because the technology is similar to TFT-LCD, the entry barrier is relatively low for LCD manufacturers such as LG.

“E-books are attracting a lot of attention because they offer the advantage of storing thousands of books’ worth of contents in an easy-to-carry device. The idea of e-book combined with solar cell will offer users the added benefit of longer usage,” said Ki Yong Kim, head of the Solar Cell Office at LG Display.

“We will continue to provide users with enhanced convenience and value to solidify our lead in next-generation, environmentally friendly products.”

The device currently has an energy conversion rate of about 9.6 percent; the company says it aims to increase that to 12 percent by next year and 14 percent by 2012.