Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Using light to charge a battery - Research partnership between St. Francis Xavier University and Genair8 Technologies

September 2nd, 2016
L-r, Doug Connelly and Peter Phippen of Genair8 Technologies and StFX chemistry professor Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley

The bright thinking lights are always on in StFX chemistry professor Dr. Geniece Hallett-Tapley’s lab as she researches light output to power solar panels, in a partnership with Genair8 Technologies, a small technology start-up company from the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. 

It’s a partnership looking into using electricity at its highest efficiency.  

“Genair8 has come up with alternative solar panel activation pathways that hold considerable promise towards very efficiently producing electricity,” says Dr. Hallett-Tapley, who will have StFX students involved in this work as part of their education. 

“We are closing in on the perfect combination of light source and solar panels to have potential battery charging applications to rival the current plug-in type alternatives currently available on the market.”

Doug Connelly and Peter Phippen, the founders of Genair8 Technologies, say they’re excited about the partnership and its possibilities.

“We are fortunate to find the exact expertise in light energy with Geniece and her students at StFX, that we need to fine-tune our battery charger. We are confident that as LED lights become more efficient, and as the research at StFX better defines the wavelengths needed, that we can move to the consumer market the most efficient battery charger out there,” they say.  

“We are really looking at the recreational vehicle and cottage markets initially, as what electricity there is in RVs and small cottages must be used most efficiently. Our battery charger we believe will meet those needs perfectly. In addition, generating power or maintaining a charge when the sun is not always shining promotes increased use of energy alternatives and would provide greater confidence for consumers in those alternatives.”

Genair8 was awarded a Productivity and Innovation Voucher from Innovacorp, the Nova Scotia early stage venture capital organization that invests in promising clean technology. This award will support the research that Dr. Hallett-Tapley is doing for Genair8.

“I am excited about applying my knowledge of how light works on various chemical compounds to real-world situations,” Dr. Hallett-Tapley says.  

This research is, in part, made possible by the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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