Researchers from Newcastle University have created solar cells that harness ambient light to power Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The photovoltaic cells are based on a copper electrolyte and achieved an unprecedented power conversion efficiency of 38% and 1.0V open-circuit voltage at 1,000 lux (fluorescent lamp).
The team has said the non-toxic and environmentally friendly cells set a new standard for sustainable energy sources in ambient environments and could revolutionise the way IoT devices are powered.
Published in the journal Chemical Science, the research also focused on an energy management technique, employing long short-term memory (LSTM) artificial neural networks to predict changing deployment environments and adapt the computational load of IoT sensors accordingly.
This dynamic energy management system enables the energy-harvesting circuit to operate optimally, minimising power losses.
By combining innovative photovoltaic cells with intelligent energy management techniques, the researchers believe that a multitude of new device implementations emerges that can have far-reaching applications in various industries.