Ambient Photonics will build a fully automated manufacturing plant to produce solar cells to power consumer electronics.
Ambient Photonics secured $31 million in Series A funding for a solar cell production facility, led by Amazon through its Climate Pledge Fund, and Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Future Shape and I Squared Capital also participating in the round.
Ambient Photonics is developing a unique low-light energy harvesting photovoltaic (PV) technology that the company claims can generate up to three times more energy than conventional technology. Its cells are manufactured using an industrial printing process whereby proprietary energy-harvesting molecules are applied to thin, durable glass substrates to create cells of virtually any size and shape.
Compared to semiconductor vacuum manufacturing methodologies, Ambient said its rapid production process is efficient, scalable and lower cost. Ambient is working with global manufacturers of smart homes and Internet of Things (IoT) devices on integrated solar cells. The technology could provide power density from a broader spectrum of ambient light.
By powering smart home and IoT devices with integrated solar cells, batteries are not needed, reducing landfill waste.
“Disposable batteries are both a consumer inconvenience and a significant environmental issue,” said Matt Peterson, director of the Climate Pledge Fund at Amazon. “We are delighted that, through the Climate Pledge Fund, we are investing in Ambient to help them on their journey to creating innovative solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of battery-operated devices across all sectors.”
“We believe Ambient has the potential to catalyze more sustainable systems in growing global industries including consumer electronics, smart home and IoT. Ambient’s technology offers the first viable solution to cost-effectively power these devices with clean, renewable energy,” said Sasha Brown, Partner at EIF.
Ambient will also pursue its Part II application for a $162 million loan guarantee under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Title XVII loan guarantee program. The facility is expected to provide hundreds of local jobs while reducing Scope 3 emissions.
“IoT sensors are everywhere. And each has a battery that gets replaced and added to toxic waste,” said Tony Fadell, founder of Nest and author of To build. “Ambient Photonics’ revolutionary low-light solar cells put us within reach of the Holy Grail: a wireless, battery-less IoT network.”
Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund was launched with $2 billion in funding from Amazon and aims to support the development of sustainable technologies and services that will enable Amazon and other companies to meet the climate goals of Amazon. ‘by 2040. Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded the pledge program, called The Climate Pledge. The pledge includes a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement threshold 10 years earlier. Verizon, Reckitt Benckiser (RB) and Infosys also joined the pledge.
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