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The Swedish company Exeger is hoping to provide a constant supply of energy for small electrical devices with its solar film. The European Patent Office (EPO) has nominated the Swedish innovators Henrik Lindström and Giovanni Fili as finalists in the “SMEs” (small and medium-sized enterprises) category of the European Inventor Award 2021 for their efficient and versatile dye-sensitised solar cell (DSSC).

First-generation silicon photovoltaics are still the most common technology in solar modules, but third-generation photovoltaic systems, such as DSSCs, are rapidly catching up. These solar cells do not use expensive silicon, are lighter, thinner and more versatile and are made from commonly available and environmentally friendly materials. As the new solar cell technology can be integrated into consumer products, it will open up a new segment of self-charging electronic devices that can generate power from all forms of light via the film, both indoors and outdoors. The dye-sensitised material is thin, flexible and durable and is being marketed through the two inventors’ company Exeger in Stockholm.

Their innovation, the superconductor inside the cell, enables free-form printing to make Powerfoyle™ solar material in various textures, shapes and colours. The company plans to use the material in various products, for example in bicycle helmets with self-charging lights or in self-charging headphones. “Lindström and Fili’s invention paves the way for the development of a new generation of self-charging electronic devices,” said EPO President António Campinos when the European Inventor Award 2021 finalists were announced. “The patents behind their technology are essential in making their products commercially viable in a wide variety of markets.” The winners of the EPO’s annual innovation prize were announced at a gala ceremony on 17 June 2021, which was held virtually this year.

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