• Ricoh has announced a new solar cell module line that can generate electricity from indoor light
  • It uses DSSC modules that incorporates light operating dyes exciting molecules with the incoming light
  • Ricoh claims this technology works most optimally with the wavelengths of indoor light sources

Japanese electronics and imaging multinational, Ricoh Company Ltd., has launched solar cell modules that can generate electricity from indoor light and produce new renewable energy to allow electronics to maintain a charge. These it terms as the world’s ‘first’ solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) modules, which it calls Ricoh EH DSSC series.

The technology, explains Ricoh, replaces chlorophyll with light absorbing dyes mimicking the photosyntheseis process that excites molecules with the incoming light to produce energy which is collected by a structure of electrolytes and catalysts.

It claims the RICOH EH DSSC series eliminates liquid based safety concerns and achieves higher power generation efficiency under weaker light sources as in warehouses, since the organic dyes it has used for these cells work most optimally with the wavelengths of indoor light sources.

The commercial sizes available for these cells are 52mm x 84mm, 17mm x 19mm, and 28 mm x 32 mm, all in red but changing the colour of the dye can change the colour of the cells. The largest of these cells have been incorporated by Taisei Corporation and Design Office Line for its LOOPLine T1 office desk. The desk is equipped with DSSC cells allowing mobile devices sitting on top of the table to maintain consistent charge during a full day of work.

Ricoh said it is also developing see-through transparent cells to be used for cellphones and other similar devices. 

“Originally, our DSSC technology applied the organic photoconductor technology that we developed to drive our multifunction printers,” said General Manager of Energy Harvest Business Center of Ricoh, Tetsuya Tanaka. “The power of innovation and belief in technology that fuels the future led us to leverage that same DSSC technology to fuel renewable energy in environments critical to our customers, such offices with little natural light.”