Etulipa's first solar powered electrowetting display

Based on its patented Electro Wetting Display technology, Etulipa has revealed the first off-the-grid reflective outdoor display. The black and white character-based display proves its energy efficiency by working off the grid, powered only and permanently by solar cells.

Etulipa is a former winner of Innovation Origins’ Gerard & Anton Award.

The first so-called electronic Changeable Copy Board (eCCB) is located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, but Etulipa says it’s ready to conquer the world.

The Black/White eCCB is the first product on the roadmap of Etulipa. “This eCCB proves that EWD technology works extremely well for outdoor displays. Etulipa’s next goal is the realization of full-colour outdoor displays” CEO Hans Feil says.  “We are excited to offer to the public the first Etulipa outdoor EWD display. It took us considerable time and effort to come to this point.” For now, the eCCB’s will be manufactured in limited numbers.

Electro Wetting Displays reflect light just like paper and therefore have the intrinsic capability to reduce the light pollution caused by other digital displays. Like all reflective displays, readability in bright sunshine is excellent and the energy consumption is so low that it can work grid-independent. “These displays will have, by their nature, no disruption to the quality of life and are therefore ideal for locations where LED displays are not allowed.”

At night

For visibility at night, a light would be needed. “Compare it to reading the newspaper”, says Carla Verweerden, Senior Marketing & Communication manager at Etulipa. “In the evening you would also need light to read it. At the moment we don’t have any lighting on, so the display not readable in the evening.”

The energy consumption of the screen is less than 5Watt. Verweerden: “This means that a solar panel quickly produces a lot more energy than is needed to run the screen. This extra energy is stored in a battery, which can then be used in the evening to run the screen and the lighting.”

Etulipa, one of many Philips spinouts in Eindhoven, invented the 2nd generation Electro Wetting Display technology. Its headquarters are still located at High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.