Amazon-Backed Ambient Photonics Debuts 3X More Powerful Indoor Low-Light Solar Cells

Mark Landers
By Mark Landers

Ambient Photonics, a company at the forefront of indoor solar cell technology, is set to unveil its groundbreaking innovations at CES 2024. Supported by early investments from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and top venture capital firms, Ambient Photonics is revolutionizing the way we power connected devices, moving towards sustainable, battery-free alternatives.

Breakthrough in Solar Technology

The company’s novel dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) technology stands out by offering up to three times more power than existing solutions, even in low-light conditions. This advancement is attributed to newly developed, revolutionary molecules that enhance energy absorption.

“In today’s world, connected electronics require ongoing power, which too often derives from disposable or rechargeable batteries,” said Bates Marshall, Ambient Photonics’ Co-Founder & CEO. He emphasizes that, until now, solar power was limited to low-power electronics, but Ambient’s science has expanded its application to mass-market devices.

Ambient Light: A Sustainable Power Source

Marshall highlights the environmental benefits of their technology, saying, “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.” By harnessing ambient light, their technology aims to reduce battery waste and carbon emissions significantly.

Bates Marshall

Bifacial Solar Cell Technology

A major innovation from Ambient Photonics is its first fully-functioning bifacial solar cell, capable of harvesting light from both sides. This technology enables devices to power themselves more effectively, regardless of their positioning. “Our bifacial solar cell technology is a game-changer for all kinds of devices,” Marshall points out.

Ambient cells generate up to three times more power than amorphous silicon cells, which are currently the industry standard for indoor use. In fact, Ambient's performance is competitive with the highest performing lower-light solar technology, gallium arsenide, which is commonly used on space satellites and in military applications where cost is not a factor.

Potential Applications and Demonstrations

With this technology, devices like remote controls could self-charge whether face-up or face-down. Ambient Photonics plans to demonstrate both standard and bifacial DSSC solutions at CES 2024, showing their superiority in power production and design flexibility over traditional technologies.

Partnerships and Future Outlook

Ambient Photonics has already garnered attention from leading manufacturers, integrating its solar cells into mainstream electronics. The company’s booth at CES 2024 will feature collaborations with Universal Electronics, Chicony, and E-Ink, showcasing the widespread application of this sustainable technology.

Ambient Photonics is poised to change how we think about powering everyday devices. By leveraging cutting-edge indoor solar technology, they’re not only enhancing device efficiency, but also contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future. Their showcase at CES 2024 is a glimpse into a world where eco-friendly power is the norm for connected devices.

And, having access to the extremely deep pockets of Amazon surely isn’t going to hurt Ambient’s chances for success.

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