Originally Posted by Gspin96
That wouldn't be good. Solar cells don't CREATE electricity when they are hit by light. They TURN light into electrical power, and it couldn't be otherwise as energy cannot come out from nothing. Photons are absorbed by electrons, which detach from their atom and start moving, generating a current, and the ideal solar panel should have its electrons absorb all the light and let no light back: it should be completely BLACK. Transparent (or white) ones would generate no current.
I don't think you understand what I'm saying, I know energy isn't created, and I understand the concept of solar cells - that's specifically what I was referring to when I said that you wouldn't be able to use it in the sun and charge it like that because of conservation of energy - because otherwise there would be more of an imbalance - it would be charging, and shining out about the same amount of light as it is receiving. Of course, stupid me forgot about UV and infrared, which negates that part of my argument
. What I meant was that I was hoping that some day there would be a solar cell that could be on top of a screen, and you could still the screen. One option would be semi-translucent - the screen would just have to be tuned a bit brighter, which wouldn't be a problem, either, as most of the light that doesn't make it through the solar cell would be re-captured as energy anyway. The other option - the ideal one - would be a solar cell that would only transform light landing on one side. This definitely wouldn't absorb all the light because of the law stating that light can go back the same way it came, and when I think about it, it probably couldn't work at all, but who knows what science will provide us with in a couple of years - there have been surprises in the past...
Originally Posted by Wroleader
What about the entire back of the phone being a big solar panel?
At the current state of technology, that would probably be the best option (plus maybe a bit on the bezel, but depending on the efficiency of the solar panel, that could just be a waste) - We don't have any (semi)-transparent solar panels AFAIK, so they have to be dark like that, so yes, at the moment, the entire back of the phone being a solar panel would probably be the best option.