We have all heard of Wi-fi.
Now, what is Li-fi, and what has it got to do with solar power, of all things?
Just like Wi-Fi, Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is a high-speed wireless communication technology. Instead of using radio frequency, light is the medium of transmission.
Harald Haas, the person who coined the term ’Li-Fi’, has demonstrated how solar cells can receive data and therefore claims that Li-Fi solar panels can act as a broadband receiver and help solve rural connectivity issues. Li-Fi solar panel will not only produce solar power but also act as a data receiver of Li-Fi signals.
The idea is that an LED light source combined with a solar panel can form a transmitter-receiver system. Basically, the LED transmits encoded information which is received by the solar cell, decoded and made available at a laptop where the information can be viewed.
Sounds really exciting, doesn’t it?
This innovation makes use of the increasing availability of solar cells for various applications. It is especially beneficial in developing countries where rural areas are plagued with problems like shortage of electric power, absence of internet and even mobile networks.
Here’s a nice blog post on the use of Li-fi for solar power applications, from Solar Mango. (part of Innovations in Solar series)