Being able to work around our desks and be able to have our devices right by us as they charge is something that some of us struggle with everyday. Whether the electric socket is too far away or your device’s charger cable is too short, it is annoying when you would like to check for something or make a phone call and you can’t be able to do that without having to disconnect it. A Dutch designer named Marjan van Aubel has however devised a way to get around that. Called the Current Table, Aubel’s invention is a solar-powered table that can generate electricity and charge your gadgets while you work. Another interesting feature of the Current Table is that it uses photosynthesis to create energy from diffused indoor lighting.
The table stands on triangular wooden legs and has a clear orange glass work surface. At the side, there are USB charging ports that can power all your electrical appliances throughout the year. In order to generate the energy, there is a dye-synthesized solar cell inside the glass panel that used the same mechanism as plants-photosynthesis. Similarly to the way plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy, the solar cell inside utilizes the color properties of the glass which will act as a conductor and allow it to absorb more sunlight. Its application to furnitures such as the glass table is possible because of the technology where tiny titanium dioxide particles can be placed on a piece of glass to assist the energy generation process. When the energy is collected, it is stored in a battery and then used every time a gadget is plugged into the USB port.
While most photovoltaic cells would require direct sunlight, the technology used for the table is able to generate electricity from only diffused indoor lighting. Its performance is therefore independent from outside weather conditions. In order to fully charge a battery, each of the four cells for each USB port needs about an hour. The innovative Current Table furniture piece was showcased as part of the 214 Milan Design Week.