Beaming power: photovoltaic laser power converters for power-by-light Articles uri icon

published in

publication date

  • February 2022

start page

  • 340

end page

  • 368


  • 2


  • 6

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2542-4351


  • Photovoltaic laser power converters (PVLPCs) are the core element of power-by-light (PBL) systems, which are basically made up of a power laser, an optical fiber, and a PVLPC. PBL allows the safe transfer of power in situations where the direct use of electrical energy to power electronic equipment is either not possible or not recommendable. The first PBL system was built in 1978, but it has been only recently when PBL systems are having an outburst with continuous efficiency improvements, creation of start-ups, big companies entering the business, and increasing number of scientific publications and specialized technical conferences. This review begins with an overview of the functionalities of PBL systems and the critical requirements imposed to PVLPCs. Afterward, a brief outlook on the history of PVLPCs is presented. A detailed comparison among the different typologies of PVLPCs in terms of efficiency, delivered power, voltage, temperature effects, and manufacturability is carried out, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages depending on the application. We also point out the main aspects limiting the efficiency of PVLPCs and possible ways to circumvent them. Finally, we discuss the perspectives of PVLPCs together with the possible routes to a steady deployment of PBL systems to serve a considerable number of applications in our daily life.