New Solar-Powered Sensor Could Literally Change the World
Science continues to amaze and one of the latest discoveries may literally change the world as we know it. This tiny solar-powered sensor can fit on the face of a penny and barely cover up the date. How this little wonder, developed at the University of Michigan, is able to create the power of something 1,000x its size is amazing, and because of this, the applications are quite numerous. When devices like this come to light, one of the first things that anyone thinks of is the effect that they will have on the medical community. Many implants require some type of power source and if a solar-powered sensor can be used to power then, it changes everything that we currently rely on or know in regards to this implants.
There are also other applications in just about every field imaginable. Devices would become more cost efficient and they would be able to run forever, or at least as long as the rest of the parts held up. Many monitoring devices would be able to use something like this and environmental sensors would also benefit from it.
Everything about his solar-powered sensor system screams conservation. When compared to the technology that is doing the same tasks today that this device will be able to operate, it takes up both less space and uses much less power than anything comparable. When in sleep mode, it will use an incredible 2,000 times less power. The numbers are simply staggering.
One of the reasons that the sensor is so efficient in its operation is because it spends most of its time taking a nap. That’s right, it is in sleep mode and needs only a few seconds every few minutes to take its measurements. The average power consumption is less than 1 nanowatt. For those of you not familiar with this massive amount of energy, that is one-billionth of a watt. We use more energy than this sensor uses all day just by blinking our eyes.
As stated earlier, the medical world licks their chops when something like this comes about because of the various different ways that they can use it. Even though it is solar based, it can probably be modified to get its power from body movement or heat. This opens up the door for an enormous amount of applications and could make many procedures less invasive and implants last longer than ever before. We can only hope that this little powerhouse is as good as they say.