Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel created a solar-powered table that can generate electricity and charge your gadgets while you work. The Current Table uses photosynthesis to create energy from diffused indoor lighting and features USB charging ports that can power all your electrical appliances throughout the year.
The table’s clear orange glass work surface rests on triangular wooden legs. Inside the glass panel is a dye-synthesized solar cell that creates energy using the same mechanism as plants-photosynthesis. It utilizes the color properties of the glass similarly to the way plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy. The technology behind its application to furniture is based on placing tiny titanium dioxide particles on a piece of glass. The glass is then dyed orange, which acts as a conductor and allows the cell to absorb more sunlight. The excess energy is stored in a battery and used every time a gadget is plugged into the USB port.
Unlike most photovoltaic cells that require direct sunlight, the one used here can generate electricity from diffused indoor lighting and its performance is independent from outside weather conditions. Four cells for each USB port need about an hour to fully charge a battery. This innovative furniture piece is currently exhibited at Salone Satellite as part of the 2014 Milan Design Week.