Edinburgh Research Explorer

On the Design of a Solar-Panel Receiver for Optical Wireless Communications with Simultaneous Energy Harvesting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions



Original languageEnglish
Article number7010358
Pages (from-to)1612-1623
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


This paper proposes a novel design of an optical wireless communications (OWC) receiver using a solar panel as a photodetector. The proposed system is capable of simultaneous data transmission and energy harvesting. The solar panel can convert a modulated light signal into an electrical signal without any external power requirements. Furthermore, the direct current (DC) component of the modulated light can be harvested in the proposed receiver. The generated energy can potentially be used to power a user terminal or at least to prolong its operation time. The current work discusses the various parameters which need to be considered in the design of a system using a solar panel for simultaneous communication and energy harvesting. The presented theory is supported with an experimental implementation of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), thus, proving the validity of the analysis and demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed receiver. Using the propounded system, a communication link with a data rate of 11.84 Mbps is established for a received optical signal with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.7×10<sup>-3</sup> W/cm<sup>2</sup>.

    Research areas

  • intensity modulation and direct detection (IM/DD), optical modulation, Optical wireless communication (OWC), orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 21127010