Researchers in Germany have successfully developed a pair of sunglasses that can generate power from the solar cells in their lenses. 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 sunglasses frames are also equipped with electronics, including a microprocessor, two sensors and two displays.
The solar power captured by the lenses are used to run the electronics, which measure illumination intensity and ambient temperatures displayed on bar graphs. "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 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and an author of the study said in a press release.
The lenses can generate about 200 miliwatts of excess power, which is enough to power devices such as a step counter, hearing aid or a small speaker. The solar sunglasses work best in direct sunlight, but they can also work in dimmer lighting environments, such as inside a home or office. The study was published in the journal Energy Technology.