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

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Original languageEnglish
Article number12193772
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2019


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.

    Research areas

  • Communication systems, Energy harvesting, Free-space optical communication, Light communication, Optical wireless communications, Solar energy

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