Ambient Photonics Offers Battery-Replacing Solar Cells for Home Devices

Ambient Photonics' low- light solar PV cell

(Credit: Ambient Photonics)

by | Jan 5, 2024

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Ambient Photonics has developed and recently commercialized a low-light photovoltaic cell capable of replacing batteries in multiple types of technological devices.

The solar cell is reportedly able to capture up to three times more solar energy than other indoor solar solutions, specifically in low-light conditions where most connected devices are kept. The PV technology may be used for products such as remote controls, keyboards, sensors, and other electronics. Ambient made its first large-scale shipment of its low-light cells in fall of 2023, and its new manufacturing facility is said to be capable of producing tens of millions of units each year.

The company has also recently developed its first bifacial solar cell, which may capture solar energy from both sides of the cell simultaneously. This allows for more flexible placement of various solar-powered electronic devices and may also boost cell efficiency to allow for more powerful electronics.

“In today’s world, connected electronics require ongoing power, which too often derives from disposable or rechargeable batteries,” said Bates Marshall, co-founder and CEO of Ambient Photonics. “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.”

Some electronics manufacturers, such as Universal Electronics, Chicony, and E Ink, have already adopted Ambient’s solar cells in some of their products.

Growing Solar Industry Expands Possibilities of the Renewable Technology

Of all renewable energy sources, solar power saw the most growth in 2023. While large-scale solar farms and community solar projects have gained attention for their ability to help decarbonize the grid, the industry has also seen developments demonstrating the flexibility and wide-ranging applications of solar energy.

In addition to Ambient’s technologies, solar company D.light offers a range of solar-powered home technologies, such as clean cookstoves, solar home systems, and solar lanterns. The company also recently announced its participation in a grant-funded initiative to bring affordable electricity to off-grid locations in Uganda with such products.

Bifacial solar panels are also not unique to Ambient Photonics. For example, Next2Sun’s vertical, two-sided solar panels are being used to allow for multipurpose land use, saving space when compared to conventional solar panels. The company also offers solar fences and space-conscious solar panels to be used on farms for agrivoltaic projects, residential use, and more.

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