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Indoor double-sided photovoltaic: for electronics without batteries

double-sided photovoltaic

Credits: Ambient Photonics

Suitable to transform any light source into energy

A new era for electronics could soon be inaugurated by the latest technological innovation signed Ambient Photonics. The Californian company will exhibit at CES 2024 – scheduled in Las Vegas from 9 to 12 January – some real products powered by its new indoor double-sided photovoltaic. Remote controls, wireless keyboards, sensors, and other smart and connected home devices can operate additional batteries and power supplies.

The basic principle is that of the first solar calculators but with a big difference: direct exposure to sunlight will not be necessary. The indoor double-sided photovoltaic created by Ambient Photonics can work with any light source. And it can even provide up to 3 times more energy than other indoor solar solutions in low light. The secret? A new cell DSSC (dye-sensitized solar cell), an organic photovoltaic technology that employs a dye as an active material.

read also Wood-based organic solar cells, the new frontier of photovoltaics

Photovoltaic DSSC indoor

In the past years, the DSSC or Gratzel cells (named after their inventor) have already reached a first attempt at industrialization but not without obstacles. Starting with the use of liquid electrolytes that present thermal stability problems. At low temperatures it can freeze, interrupting energy production and causing damage. At higher temperatures, however, it can expand, making sealing panels a serious problem.

On the other hand, the SDCs offer undeniable advantages that continue to tickle the appetites of world research. Their efficiency is close to that of thin film photovoltaic devices, offering the same good mechanical strength. The last great success in this field has reached him at the Lausanne Polytechnic. His Gratzel cell showed a record conversion efficiency of 15.2% under standard simulated sunlight conditions and long-term operational stability for over 500 hours. It is also an ideal candidate for indoor photovoltaics. In fact, it has been demonstrated that it is possible, through a careful design of the dyes,to obtain a good spectral correspondence with the diffused internal lights and the artificial ones.

Ambient Photonics indoor double-sided photovoltaic

The Californian company’s indoor double-sided solar cell collects light energy simultaneously from the back and front of the solar cell. “Our double-sided solar cell technology represents a turning point for all kinds of devices,” Marshall explained. “We can imagine a range of connected products, including electronic shelf labels, building sensors and more, that not only feed more effectively with ambient light, but can also be designed and mounted in a variety of flexible ways, working independently of form or orientation”.

But the company’s indoor photovoltaic, in the single-sided version, has already reached the market. At CES 2024, visitors will be able to take a look at the first solutions created in collaboration with electronics manufacturers such as Universal Electronic, Chicony, and E Ink. The company will also offer a demonstration of its new indoor double-sided photovoltaic and the gains in terms of energy production. “There is no better way to appreciate the revolutionary potential of Ambient solar cell technology than seeing it in action,” said Marshall. “We are already sending cells to device manufacturers and soon everyone will enjoy the benefits of battery-free electronics”.

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