Solar cell for indoor use replaces batteries: Page 2 of 2

February 02, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Solar cell for indoor use replaces batteries
A flexible organic solar cell developed by Epishine in Sweden is optimised for indoor use to power sensors and wireless links without batteries.

One early customer, Miromico in Switzerland, is using the cell to power a battery-free sensor card.

“MiroCard smartcard powered by light with our electronics on the bottom with sensors and a Bluetooth radio to communicate with infrastructure,” said Andres Gomez, Research Engineer at Micromico. “We will start field trails in mid February and Epishine is a key component as it is thin and flexible that enables a form factor smaller than a credit card. It only takes a few seconds for the device to switch on and start communicating even though it has no batteries.”

It has also been used to replace the batteries in an electronic lock developed by ACSS. The indoor solar cell is used in the lock panel, while the power management and converter fits into the battery compartment that is no longer used.

The cell comes in a 50 x 50 mm square, although larger versions are possible, up to 25cm x 7cm, says Bergquist. This is a restriction of the current manufacturing equipment.

The cell also has restrictions on the manufacturing process. It cannot be used in a reflow PCB process as the high temperatures would damage the plastics and the collection material and so has to be hand soldered into place.

The aim is to go ito mass production with the technology, says Björklou. “We don’t have plans to license the technology but that’s an interesting question. We also want more players in the market with this technology so it’s under discussion,” she said.

Epishine purchased roll to roll manufacturing services from Ynvisible Production (formerly Consensum Production), also based in Linköping, that developes flexible display technology.

The evaluation kit for the cell uses a power management chip from e-peas in Belgium and a supercapacitor from CAP-XX. 

www.epishine.com

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Picture: 
Anna Björklou, CEO of Epishine

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