The surface of the Current Table by Dutch design studio Caventou uses integrated solar cells to create electricity from light, just like photosynthesis. The table uses dye-sensitised solar cells that use colour to create an electrical current in a similar way to a plant using chlorophyll to turn sunlight into energy during photosynthesis.
Unlike traditional solar cells that need direct sunlight, the Current Table is the first piece of furniture that can harvest energy indoors using even diffused sunlight to charge its battery.
The table needs no cables or connection to the mains, is self sufficient and can charge your devices. A USB point with a simple light display shows the user how much charge is left in the table.
Dutch designer and RCA graduate Marjan van Aubel founded Caventou in 2015. Van Aubel found that the orange colour worked more efficiently on the solar glass than green. Since the launch of the table, van Aubel has also launched the solar integrated windows.
The sun provides enough energy in a single day to power all the electrical devices on earth for a year. The problems of how to capture, store and transport that natural energy are still major hurdles that designers are trying to solve.
The Current Table was on display at the V&A Museum in London as part of London Design Festival 2016.