Charging a change

The way mobile phones are charged may soon change to a more energy-saving yet efficient and faster process.


A prototype developed by Algerian national Alaeddine Mokri, research assistant at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, showed how this can be achieved.

The prototype comprises a box that contains different types of light bulbs. It functions as an artificial sunlight, concentrated on the solar cells attached to the mobile phone.

Mokri predicts that the final product of his innovation would be a box with an integrated solar cell cover. When the mobile phone is placed in the box, this will be charged within a few minutes. He said the box can be placed in a car, restaurant, office or hotel room.

Mokri’s innovative sustainable wireless electric mobile phone charger, titled ‘Application of Spectral Matching of Artificial Light to Solar Cells’, was ranked third among the 13 contenders at last month’s ‘Made in the UAE’ competition during the seventh annual IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Student Day at the Higher Colleges of Technology’s Khalifa City Women’s College.

“I expect the product to be the next generation electric charger. The prototype was assessed by two independent judging committees. Hearing that my project was ranked third in such a tough competition made me believe again that the way we use our electric chargers may soon change — and forever,” said Mokri.

Dr Mahieddine Emziane, Associate Professor at the Masdar Institute, commended Mokri for his achievement. “Our research-cum-learning environment remains one of the intensely motivating factors for students and faculty to continue exploring for innovative solutions. We commend Alaeddine Mokri for his persistent efforts to successfully create a totally new sustainable product that runs on solar energy.”

For his next project, Mokri plans to develop a “very fast” charging station for electric vehicles. “This will probably solve their long time-charging issues and increase their adoption,” he pointed out.

An expert in solar energy, Mokri has co-authored the first study that reviews the status of solar energy in the UAE that resulted in the first solar installations map for the country. He has also designed three systems for solar power generation and storage, suitable for the UAE climatic conditions. One of the systems was awarded the Best Graduate Research at the Second International Conference on Renewable Energy at the UAE University recently.

And for his contributions to the local solar industry, Mokri was awarded the Honorary Membership to the Emirates Solar Industry Association (ESIA).

In the summer of 2010, he won full-scholarship to attend the Nasa-based Singularity University Graduate Programme. He has served as a research associate at the Nasa Ames Research Centre immediately after earning his Master’s degree from Masdar Institute in 2011. In 2010, as an undergraduate student at Tlemcen University in Algeria, Mokri published a paper titled ‘Design and Implementation of a Virtual Calculation Centre (VCC) for Engineering Students’ in the International Journal of Online Engineering. Mokri was the first and only one in his school to publish a paper as an undergraduate student.

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