: Israeli company seeks to make batteries redundant with dye solar cells
Tech&Science14:43 Mar. 21, 2016
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Israeli company seeks to make batteries redundant with dye solar cells

The technology uses glass-printed photovoltaic cells to power everyday electric devices

An Israeli company says it has developed a solar energy technology so efficient that it can make the need for batteries obsolete. The product, developed by the firm 3G Solar Photovoltaics, is an advanced form of Dye Solar Cell technology or DSC. While solar energy typically requires sunlight to produce electricity, these cells are so sensitive they can generate power from indirect, indoor lighting.

Research and Development Director Nir Stein demonstrates how an ordinary computer mouse can operate without a battery.

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"What you see here is a computer mouse that has a bluetooth connectivity inside it and is powered by 3G solar photo voltaic cells, here," Director Product R&D and Chief Business Development Officer at 3GSolar Photovoltaics Nir Stein says.

The company CEO says for everything from office appliances to wearable smart watches, the cell technology means in future, it might never be necessary to change or recharge a battery.

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"What we offer in our cells, in our light power devices, is a solution that gives three times the power of anything else that exists, and we're talking indoors, where most the electronics are used. So three times the power to run these new electronics, the new censors, the smart watches and other wearables. So it's a way to keep those powered that couldn't be done before," CEO of 3GSolar Photovoltaics Barry N. Breen says.

The solar cells are also known as Graetzel cells, after Michael Graetzel, who discovered them about 20 years ago. He found sunlight excites the dye and creates an electronic charge. The process eliminates the need for expensive semiconductors, similar to the way a plant uses chlorophyll to turn sunlight into energy through photosynthesis.

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