Technical Articles

PowerFilm, Inc. has published these technical articles:

(Alternative Power Generation)
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Whether powering an outdoor asset tracker or an indoor BLE beacon, understanding the balance between power consumption and power generation is critical to an energy harvesting solution. A properly...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Batteries are required for nearly every electronic device, it seems. They allow for simple operation and quick deployment. What happens when those batteries die? In this post we discuss the...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Our new line of PV cells and reference designs make implementing energy harvesting into your products easier. New cells offer smaller form factors, ideal for the compact electronics used in most IoT...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Indoor solar is somewhat of an oxymoron. How can a solar panel work without sunlight? Solar panels, or Photovoltaics (PV), work via the photoelectric effect, which converts light into electricity....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Harvesting indoor light energy is a viable power solution for many wireless sensors, trackers, and low-power devices used in a growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Indoor...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Inspiration can strike at a moment's notice. One minute you're at a cafe sipping coffee and reading a magazine when all of a sudden, the lightbulb turns on, and your next great product idea is born....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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To many, solar is a fascinating but confusing technology. There are so many factors to think through and variables to consider. It would be enough to make anyone's head spin. That's where we come...
(Batteries and Accessories)
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With millions of sensors, beacons, trackers, nodes, and devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding into every nook and cranny of the modern world. What do all these devices have in common?...
(Batteries and Accessories)
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Many microcontrollers, sensors, and reference designs are built around coin cell batteries, making designing with them very easy. Since they are so popular, mass production has also made them very...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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PowerFilm isn't confined to pushing a small selection of products or even a single technology. We offer a wide range of amorphous silicon and crystalline silicon solutions. If one of our standard...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Solar panels are typically made up of many cells connected in series, which increase the output voltage of the panel. Multiple cells used to be a requirement when circuitry could not run on low...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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There are many considerations when calculating your power budget....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Often you might think about inexpensive batteries versus their elite counterpart, but many times we neglect the importance of a charge controller in the solar collection process....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Today we are going to focus on portable solar technologies comparing flexibility, durability, portability, power/weight ratio, temperature coefficient, variable/low-light performance, efficiency and...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Solar panels provide meaningful power at home, on the road and anywhere you need it. A complete solar solution includes the panel, a storage device which is usually a battery, and a charge controller...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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In the solar industry, one size does not fit all. PowerFilm's unique technology and custom solar capabilities enable us to develop power solutions that match the requirements of an application...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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How can you determine voltage and current of a solar module? This is a pretty common question so let's dive right in. The voltage of a solar module is based on the number of cells in a module....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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In 2025 there are projected to be over 70 billion connected electronic devices worldwide. Every electronic device needs power to operate which usually comes in the form of a battery. Batteries are...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Solar panels love the sun. They perform best when they're in it and angled appropriately, but what happens when these ideal conditions aren't achievable? What happens to a solar panel when it's...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Temperature, both hot and cold, are vital parts of determining how well a solar panel will operate and has to be accounted for when designing a solution....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Over the years many different types of photovoltaics (PV) have been created, each possesses unique qualities, but one thing remains true, all applications aren't necessarily satisfied by the same...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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How do you determine the power output required from a solar panel to recharge a battery based on current load? This is a great question and important when thinking about what solar panel to select...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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PowerFilm has been providing custom solar solutions in the IoT, military, and commercial spaces for over 30 years. But what does that mean? Due to the many parameters and complexity of our process,...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Beacons don't waste power maintaining a connection, are one of the lowest power wireless protocols available and ideal candidates for indoor solar....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Solar isn't just for rooftops with direct sunlight anymore, many electronics can be powered using solar in shady and even indoor conditions....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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In some cases, devices may require more power than a reasonably sized solar panel can produce. If the device doesn't need to run continuously, a solar solution is usually still possible....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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The Internet of Things (IoT) industry isn't slowing down any time soon. It's picking up pace. More devices than ever before are simplifying our everyday life, tracking cargo, assisting in logistics,...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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An effective solar energy harvesting solution requires more than just a solar panel. That's why we have partnered with e-peas, an energy harvesting PMIC solution provider, to launch our new...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Can I use my solar panel indoors? We get that question a lot at PowerFilm. The answer isn't as cut and dry as you might think. To our eyes, indoor environments seem pretty bright. That's only...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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What does it mean to truly own something? To control the ins and outs of a process until you are almost one with it? To ensure things fit, perform and make sense?...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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When people think of a power supply they typically think of a device that will put out a constant voltage and supply current to a device as necessary. A solar panel, on the other hand, will vary its...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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While it is important to take care of things, do you ever feel like putting something to the ultimate test? I do. "Let's see what kind of damage this thing can take and still function," I say to...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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"Energy Harvesting." This buzz word sounds straightforward, but what does it actually mean? Where does this energy come from, and how do you "harvest" it? Is it useful for real-life solutions? How...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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You might have wondered, how do shorter days affect solar? Well, as I'm sure you can imagine, they don't produce as much energy. Many environmental factors affect the amount of light your panels...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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What exactly does solar cell efficiency mean? If you've spent any time in the solar industry you understand that one of the first questions out of a person's mouth when it comes to solar technology...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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To many, solar isn't just confusing; it's downright scary. There are so many factors to think through, so many variables to consider. It would be enough to make anyone frightful. Luckily, that's...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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It looks bright, why doesn't my solar panel produce more power? This is a fantastic question and one that we get a lot. The root of this issue is actually our eyes....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Lamination affects every single thing you tested and is an incredibly important piece of the solar-build puzzle -- one that is often neglected or not understood entirely. It is a balancing act in...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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As the IoT industry rapidly expands into commercial, consumer, and industrial spaces, new and innovative ways to power the increasing number of connected devices are needed to ensure sustainability,...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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In the consumer world, convenience is king. Consumers want devices and systems that are easy to use and dependable. The best consumer IoT solutions are those that people can set up and forget about....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Like commercial businesses, companies in the industrial space are also driven by cost saving. Although they can benefit from building automation and asset management systems just like commercial...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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In today's hyper-competitive landscape, businesses are looking for any way possible to get more out of less. Modern technology gives businesses the tools they need to make smart, data-driven...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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It seems that everywhere you go these days people are talking about IoT. Whether it's smart light bulbs that respond to your voice or sensors that transmit data, these devices are everywhere. While...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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In the transportation industry, the name of the game is efficiency. Efficiency for drivers in delivering products on time and intact. Efficiency for fleet managers ensuring their trucks operate on a...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Telematics is a growing field in the industry allowing fleet managers and dedicated telematics solution providers to dramatically improve fleet operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. What...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Commercial vehicles and trailers have a surprising number of batteries to power auxiliary systems including APU (Auxiliary Power Units) battery banks, the truck battery itself, and liftgate batteries....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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At PowerFilm we take great pride in our products and quality is of the utmost importance. To ensure quality at a reasonable price, periodic tests are performed throughout the manufacturing process....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Today we are going to address solar's most famous myths, why they are so attractive and the truth behind them....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Energy Harvesting Power Management ICs (EH PMIC) are critical components of energy-autonomous electronics. They connect PV, energy storage, and the load ensuring power flows efficiently between all...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Discovered by researchers David L. Staebler and Christopher R. Wronski in 1977, the Staebler-Wronski effect occurs naturally in amorphous silicon manifesting itself primarily as a change in...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Wireless devices constitute a large and growing portion of electronics. The importance of reducing the power consumption of these devices can't be overstated. Meeting the power needs of...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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When do I need a charge controller to charge a battery with a solar panel? This is a very common question and one that is absolutely crucial. In most cases you will need some type of a charge...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Batteries are everywhere. They're in a seemingly endless number of devices we use from cell phones, remotes, Bluetooth speakers, GoPro cameras and everything in between. While batteries are nothing...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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The world of IoT is rapidly developing and changing. Since the industry itself is still in its infancy, there are many options for radios and varying standards for different IoT segments. When...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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There are incredibly inexpensive options that are attractive at first blush, but when you dig deeper the quality of these panels and their assembly process leave much to be desired....
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Through the years we have fielded almost every solar related question you can imagine. One that consistently comes up is the possibility of collecting solar energy through glass. Let's explore if...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Taking a product "off grid" and having the piece of mind that it will continue to work year after year at the highest level is no simple task. Understanding the power budget of your system is a...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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Integrating solar panels into a printed circuit board can make life a lot easier for product designers. What if the product design you are working on requires a PCB to be flexible? Luckily flexible...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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PV cells have the potential to supplement power to a wide range of IoT and battery-powered electronics. These devices are often compact and connecting a PV cell directly to the embedded PCB circuitry...
(Alternative Power Generation)
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IoT wearables generate lots of buzz in the tech community, often accompanied by insane projections of exponential growth. Why haven't these projections been realized? Power is a significant hurdle. To...