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Next-level green IoT with recyclable PV cells?! | Dracula Technologies

How about eliminating batteries from your products to reduce environmental impact? That’s cool, but what if you could also make that energy-harvesting product recyclable? Dracula is already two steps ahead…

In ipXchange’s first interview covering PV (PhotoVoltaic) cell technology, Guy chats with Jerome from Dracula Technologies. As you can see from Dracula’s very practical business card, the ambient light from the show floor at Embedded World 2024 is more than enough to power an LED, but it’s important to remember that harvesting that light energy is no easy feat.

Dracula’s PV cells differ from its competitors’ by using an organic (carbon-based) PV technology that is lightweight, flexible, and highly recyclable, with no toxic materials or halogenated solvents – 99.5% of the product is PET. This comes at no sacrifice to performance for many IoT applications.

Much like Dracula himself, these PV cells can harvest in the shadows through indirect lighting, making them perfect for indoor use; efficient energy harvesting starts in as little as 5 lux illumination.

Dracula’s OPV cells can also be printed in any shape or size to perfectly suit your application, without breaking the bank. They can also collect photons from both the front and back faces of the cell, making this technology great for ultra-thin products like asset tracking labels.

Jerome then shows us several demos where Dracula is powering the device, including:

  • A lux meter based on the STM32U0 ultra-low-power MCU
  • A temperature and humidity sensor node with LoRa connectivity
  • A TV remote control
  • A LoRa-connected IR ceiling camera

For indoor use, Dracula’s OPV technology is specified for 8-10 years in constant use, meaning that in smart home and smart building applications, the maintenance and material cost for changing batteries in IoT end nodes is dramatically reduced.

Anything powered by AA, AAA, or coin cell batteries has the potential to be run indefinitely using energy harvested by Dracula’s OPV cells.

Of course, when the lights go completely out, you’ll need a storage element to keep your device running, but Dracula has already thought of that.

In the same product, Dracula can print an environmentally friendly supercapacitor on the back of your custom-made OPV cell, meaning that you have harvesting and storage in a single, compact device.

This is a remarkably disruptive technology, so learn more and apply to evaluate it by following the link to the board page below. Truly, the world of batteries seems to be shifting to “go big or go home”…

Keep designing!

Aiming to run your device on harvested energy? Check out ipXchange’s related discoveries at Embedded World 2024:

When Ambiq meets energy harvesting – Live demo!

Replace batteries with an energy harvesting EVK!

Eliminating batteries in ESL designs with e-peas

Dracula Technologies LAYER Organic PV Cells & LAYER Vault OPV + Supercapacitor Cell

Looking to take your green IoT mission past simply eliminating batteries?

Apply for the development board now

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