Optical Devices Danz
Optical Isolator
New Solar Modules
Neue Solarmodule
Solar Displays
Displays Figures
Dr. habil. Rudi Danz


Display units with photovoltaic power generation

Dr. Rudi Danz, e-mail: rudi.danz@gmx.de


Autonomous power generation


Autonomous, mobile and decentralised power supply (Energy Harvesting ) for the electrical operation of lighting equipment for advertising media, information boards and further display units, of sensors and electrical components, of microsystems, mobile phones, MP3 players and mobile computer technology is increasingly gaining importance.

Under the spatial conditions of solar radiation and sufficient artificial light, autonomous power generation by solar cells is in many cases suitable to perform this task. In this case solar panels are used that generate electrical energy in place and make it available via intermediate storage and an electronic management system in due time with the required current and voltage. The economic and technical advantages of autonomous power supply consist in providing electric current in inaccessible places or in distributed and mobile systems without the expensive installation of an electric power network and by using renewable energy.

Up to now, the solar panels in use have occupied a separate space and needed areas to get mounted that do not always exist and should also be used otherwise.


Solar cells with radiation intensification as display symbols


A technology is presented to you below where the autonomous solar cells necessary for power generation are integrated directly into the display units and information carrier, therefore, not requiring extra space. The technology presented describes new display units with their display symbols - such as numbers, letters and pictograms - and further design features consisting of photovoltaic material (solar cells) and formed of coloured fluorescence materials.

As display unit for warning of radioactive radiation, for instance, in accordance with Fig. 1, a triangular-shaped optical substrate 1 of glass or plastic is used and silicon solar cells 2 are applied in segments on its surface as a pictogram. After the electric wiring of the solar cell segments 2 is completed, the areas on the optical substrate that are not used by the solar cells are coated with a yellow fluorescence layer, also representing a design feature of the information carrier of the display unit. In such a way, the display symbols are formed by solar cells and a fluorescence layer. The solar cells applied in the form of segments deliver electric current that can be used for lighting the display unit with light emitting diodes or for further autonomous consumers. Moreover, the yellow florescence layer located on the optical substrate and serving as display feature directs the radiation impinging on them to the segment-shaped solar cells, causing there a radiation concentration and current intensification.

Fig. 2 shows display units integrated with solar cells as solar illuminated house numbers (A) and licence numbers (B). The figures and letter of these display units - also applied on glass or plastic substrates 1 - consist of thin-layer solar cells 2, which, if appropriately connected, deliver the electric power for their lighting and, in case of the licence number, additionally for sensors and the on-board power system. For completing the described display units, apart from the solar cell materials 2, white diffusely reflecting layers 3 are applied on their optical substrates acting as design features of the display symbols and directing the radiation impinging on them to the solar cells as well.

In case of asymmetric display symbols, the thin-layer solar cells 2 to be designed as figures and letters have to be applied on the optical substrates mirror-inverted according to Fig. 2, since after the installation of the substrates they point toward the interior of the display unit and can only then be seen by the viewer from outside in their correct representation.


New market chances for solar cells


The innovation presented here opens new fields of application and markets for solar cells. The new display units generate electric power in place without an electric power network and with a low amount of maintenance. When making use of them, no extra space is needed for the power generating solar panels or solar modules. The solar cells are, e.g. directly integrated into advertising media, safely protected from theft and vandalism and do not affect the advertising representations. By intermediate storage of electrical energy, the new display units with photovoltaic power generation can be used for the autonomous power supply of lighting systems for advertising media, information panels, traffic and warning signs, sensor nets, microsystems, alarm systems and further safety equipment as well as various small devices. The use of new display units is an important contribution to autonomous power supply with technical saving effects and advantages for the environment and for the extension of solar technology.




R. Danz, „Display unit with photovoltaic power generation”

German Utility Model, application of 11 September 2010, No.20 2010 012 533.2


R. Danz, “Photovoltaic modules for radiation concentration”

International patent application of 12 March 2010, PCT/DE 2010/000274, German Priority from 03 June 2009




Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research in Potsdam,

Technical University Graz, Austria, consulting for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Berlin




Placing of licence




Dr. habil. Rudi Danz, physicist,


Feldfichten 46, D-14532 Kleinmachnow, Germany

please contact me by mail: rudi.danz@gmx.de,