Towards energy neutral wireless communications: photovoltaic cells to connect remote areas

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Abstract

In this work, we have designed, developed and deployed the world's first optical wireless communication (OWC) system using off-the-shelf lasers and solar photovoltaics. Four bidirectional OWC prototypes have been installed on the Orkney Islands of Scotland at a 30 m link distance for the provision of high-speed internet access to two residential properties. The silicon-made solar panels can harvest power up to 5 W from sunlight and they offer data rates as high as 8 Mb/s. Using additional analogue processing, data rates higher than the existing landline broadband connection are achieved. This breakthrough opens the development path to low cost, self-powered and plug-and-play free-space optical (FSO) systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3772
JournalEnergies
Volume12
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • communication systems
  • energy harvesting
  • free-space optical communication
  • light communication
  • optical wireless communications
  • solar energy

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