U.S.’ First Climate Tech Low-Light PV Cell Factory Comes Online in California from Ambient Photonics

Ambient opens U.S.' first low-light PV cell factory in California

Scotts Valley, Calif., April 24, 2023Ambient Photonics today announced that it has begun mass production of its groundbreaking low-light photovoltaic (PV) cells at its first low-light PV cell factory in Scotts Valley, California. Ambient’s PV cell technology transforms indoor light into energy with three times more power density than conventional technology and is produced at mass-market price points. Providing endless power for electronic devices, the PV cells eliminate the need for disposable batteries and can reduce the carbon emissions of battery-powered devices by as much as 80 percent.

Ambient is already engaged with the world’s largest electronics brands to make batteries obsolete in their highest volume devices, including the ETERNA Platform remote from Universal Electronics, Inc (UEI).

“Congratulations to Ambient Photonics for bringing Fab 1 online,” commented Arsham Hatambeiki, SVP Product & Technology for Universal Electronics. “We see our partnership and the integration of Ambient’s products into our offerings as an important step toward our vision of sustainable, battery-free products.”

Ambient’s state-of-the-art, 43,000-square foot facility is one of the world’s largest low-light PV cell manufacturing factories capable of producing tens of millions of units a year and is the first of its kind in the U.S. Ambient was able to rapidly achieve automated production at its low-light PV cell factory with funding from its $48.5 million Series A, which was co-led by Amazon through its Climate Pledge Fund and Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF).

“In less than a year since we invested in Ambient via the Climate Pledge Fund they’ve opened this new production facility, and we look forward to the technology and innovation that this factory will bring to end-users,” said Matt Peterson, Director at Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. “It’s exciting to see Ambient continue to make progress in its goals to both reduce waste for customers by eliminating disposable batteries and remove carbon emissions from battery-powered devices – these together will create more ways to promote a circular and low-carbon economy.”

“We are thrilled to see our best-in-class industrial systems utilized by forward-thinking innovators like Ambient Photonics,” said Martin Drasch, CEO of Manz AG, the leading industrial automation manufacturing company that delivered core manufacturing systems for Ambient’s Fab 1. “Their investment in advanced manufacturing has positioned Ambient to lead the sustainable electronics movement from its manufacturing facilities in California and beyond.” 

Ambient’s proprietary technology is based on novel molecular chemistry and a digitally defined manufacturing process, which enables highly scaled production of power dense PV cells on robust, optically clear glass substrates. The PV cells combine the highest indoor light energy density with very low production costs, allowing Ambient to offer first-of-a-kind power solutions across a wide range of industries seeking to reduce carbon emissions from their product lines. Initially, Ambient is focused on supporting markets such as consumer electronics, retail and IoT by powering devices like remote controls, keyboard and mice, electronic shelf labels and sensors. 

“Day 1 of our factory operations marks a major milestone for the growing Ambient team as we celebrate surpassing our aggressive growth targets and global expansion goals,” commented Ambient CEO Bates Marshall. “With our new-to-the-world, highly automated production process now online, we are significantly stepping up our impact on cutting carbon emissions from the world’s largest device manufacturers.”

Ambient is globally recognized for sparking a new era in connected device form, function and sustainability, with the world’s most powerful low-light PV cell manufactured to be cost compatible for powering a universe of mass-market electronics. Ambient received the CES 2021 Innovation Award for Sustainability, Eco-Design & Smart Energy, and the UEI ETERNA remote, powered by Ambient cells, was a 2023 CES Innovations Award Honoree.

About Ambient Photonics

California-based Ambient Photonics was founded in 2019 to bring low-light energy harvesting technology to mass scale. Ambient’s technology originally developed at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and funded at inception by Cthulhu Ventures LLC, is backed by leading investors like Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), Tony Fadell’s Future Shape and I Squared Capital. The company’s low-light photovoltaic (PV) cells deliver ground-breaking power density at mass market price points, inspiring a new era in connected device form and function. Ambient works with leading global electronics manufacturers to deliver superior design possibilities, performance, sustainability and convenience with embedded PV cells across a universe of disposable battery-powered devices. Explore endless power at: ambientphotonics.com


Christine Bennett for Ambient Photonics

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