Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Generating Flexible Electronic Skin

Mukherjee, R. and Dahiya, R. (2021) Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Generating Flexible Electronic Skin. In: 2021 IEEE International Conference on Flexible and Printable Sensors and Systems (FLEPS), 20-23 Jun 2021, ISBN 9781728191737 (doi: 10.1109/FLEPS51544.2021.9469825)

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Electronic skin (e-Skin) with various types of sensors over flexible substrates has received considerable interest recently for application in robotics and wearable systems. The energy autonomy of e-Skin is important for continuous operation of sensors and the readout electronics. To this end, we have developed the first energy generating e-Skin comprising of a distributed array of miniaturized solar cells integrated on soft elastomeric substrates. By innovatively reading the variations in the energy output of the solar cells, the e-Skin could sense multiple parameters (proximity, object location, edge detection, etc.). With surplus energy of 383.6 mW from an area equivalent to the palm of adult human hand, the e-Skin presents an attractive solution for energy autonomy. However, the large-scale use of solar cell in e-Skin and in other renewable energy applications, is likely to add to the already rising levels of electronic waste (e-waste). In this regard, there is need to assess the recyclability and biodegradability of e-Skin based on solar cells. In this paper, we assess the life cycle of the key components of e-Skin (i.e. solar cells and the substrate) to examine their environmental impact and viable green alternatives.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dahiya, Professor Ravinder and Mukherjee, Mr Rudra
Authors: Mukherjee, R., and Dahiya, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Published Online:05 January 2021

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
301728Engineering Fellowships for Growth: Printed Tactile SKINRavinder DahiyaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R029644/1ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering
306720INnovative Network for Training in ToUch InteracTIVE InterfacesRavinder DahiyaEuropean Commission (EC)861166ENG - Electronics & Nanoscale Engineering