Ambient Photonics says its new solar cell could be the future power source for connected devices, potentially eliminating the need for batteries.
From pv magazine USA
Ambient Photonics will demonstrate the abilities of its first bifacial solar cell at CES 2024 in Las Vegas from Jan. 9 to Jan. 12. The low-light indoor bifacial solar cell harvests indoor light energy from the back and front side simultaneously and can be used in remote controls and other connected devices.
Ambient Photonics said that it can generate as much as three times more power than conventional technology. Its cells are made using an industrial printing process through which proprietary energy harvesting molecules are applied to thin and durable glass substrates to create cells of virtually any size and shape, the company says.
Ambient’s metal-free, synthetic organic dyes have tunable electronic and optical properties, enabling the solar cells, the company says, to perform in any indoor light including compact fluorescent, halogen, LED, incandescent and diffuse or shaded natural light. Designed to replace batteries, Ambient Photonics says that manufacturers can create much smaller and lighter products.
“Solar power has long been an option for certain low-power electronics like calculators or toys, but it’s taken breakthrough science from Ambient Photonics to develop high-performance solar cell technology for mass-market devices.” said Bates Marshall, co-founder and CEO of Ambient Photonics.
With the bifacial solar cell, light power is harvested from two sides. Ambient reports that the front side delivers 100% of the power that Ambient cells are known for, while the back side delivers at least 50% of the energy as the front side.
At CES 2024, Ambient will be showing consumer electronics that are powered by the Ambient solar cells including remote controls from Universal Electronics and a wireless keyboard from Chicony. Ambient is also working with E Ink to integrate solar cells into next-generation electronic shelf labels. Ambient Photonics will conduct side-by-side demonstrations at CES of its standard and bifacial DSSC solutions, showing how remote controls can harvest three times more power than amorphous silicon cells and 1.5 times more power than single-sided DSSC devices.
Ambient Photonics produces its indoor solar cells in a new state-of-the-art 43,000-square-foot Fab 1 manufacturing facility in Scotts Valley, California. The automated facility uses a unique fabrication process that allows it to print solar cells in virtually any size and shape, the company reports, estimating that its Fab 1 facility is capable of producing tens of millions of units a year. Ambient plans to break ground on a second, US-based smart manufacturing facility in 2025 to meet growing demand for its technology.
Ambient Photonics was founded in 2019 and the technology was developed at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry and funded at inception by Cthulhu Ventures LLC. The company secured $31 million in Series A financing for a solar cell production facility, led by Amazon through its Climate Pledge Fund, and Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Fine Structure Ventures, I Squared Capital and Tony Fadell’s Future Shape.
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