Newcastle University researchers have created environmentally friendly, high-efficiency photovoltaic cells that harness ambient light to power internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The research has the potential to revolutionise the way IoT devices are powered, the team said, as it could make these systems more sustainable and efficient, as well as open up new opportunities in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and smart city development.
To create the photovoltaic cells, the team used copper (II/I) electrolyte, achieving an unprecedented power conversion efficiency of 38 per cent and 1.0V open-circuit voltage at 1,000 lux (fluorescent lamp).
The cells are non-toxic and environmentally friendly, setting a new standard for sustainable energy sources in ambient environments.
The team also introduced a new AI-powered energy management technique. To do so, it employed long short-term memory (LSTM) artificial neural networks that could predict changing deployment environments and adapt the computational load of IoT sensors accordingly.
This smart energy-management system would allow users to be more energy-efficient by dynamically adapting to their energy usage.
“Our research marks an important step towards making IoT devices more sustainable and energy-efficient,” said Dr Marina Freitag, principal investigator at Newcastle University.
“By combining innovative photovoltaic cells with intelligent energy management techniques, we are paving the way for a multitude of new device implementations that will have far-reaching applications in various industries.”