More and more watch companies include in their models solar energy machines capable of collecting and accumulating light energy, whether artificial or natural, to make the watch work. In these watches, theconventional button cell is replaced by a battery or energy accumulator.
The light is collected through solar cells located in the dial, hands, hour markers… These cells transform the light into electrical energy and the surplus energy stores it in an accumulator.
There are many questions that arise, and from Thewatchestimes we will help you answer them. : How long is the battery? What happens when there is no light? Should we change the battery?
The type and quality of solar cells depends on each manufacturer, so it is advisable to meet the technical specifications of each watch.
The best ones are those that are made with amorphous silicon cells because they pick up the light regardless of the angle of inclination, unlike others, which are only capable of collecting direct light.
Other cells are monocrystalline, which collect a large amount of light but which are affected by temperature: the more temperature the more its efficiency is reduced. They are the most used and have been refined over time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of sun watches?
- Battery change is avoided. When carrying a battery it will only need to charge through the light, which saves time and money (change the battery and reseal the watch tightly).
- It always works, it is prepared for uninterrupted uses.
- They are very precise machineries.
- Lower maintenance cost.
- It works also in the dark. Thanks to its battery (charge reserve), you can use it even in the absence of light.
- It is clean energy. As it is powered by solar energy (light), it does not require potentially polluting batteries from the environment.
- The machinery is loaded with light, so its operation is linked to this factor.
- The batteries have a life time (years) and when it comes to replace them the cost is greater than a normal battery change.
Some examples of brands that use this technology are CITIZEN, whose solar energy system is called Eco-Drive, SEIKO, or CASIO.