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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

New ‘Dracula’ energy-sucker technology could kill batteries


Advanced eco-friendly technology could soon replace batteries.

A French startup may have revolutionised the way in which energy is used and preserved, possibly bringing an end to battery usage worldwide.

Dracula Technologies has designed an eco-friendly alternative that is made with organic solar cells or inkjet-printed organic photovoltaic technology known as LAYER (Light As Your Energetic Response), which can be charged using natural resources such as the sun or through artificial light like a lamp.

The innovation does not contain rare earth elements or heavy metals like normal batteries but instead is made of carbon material. 

While it is designed to power low-energy devices, it serves global effort towards sustainable development and a more eco-friendly way of life. The new tech is also four times cheaper than regular batteries.

“Dracula Technologies is currently working with manufacturers, including a partnership with Japanese semiconductor company Renesas Electronics and AND Technology Research (ANDtr) to create a self-powering, batteryless IoT device that can send messages through BLE to a mobile app,” Al Jazeera reported.

Read also: Top energy firms bid for stake in Qatar’s LNG projects

The invention was founded in 2011 after a collaborative project between the CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, or the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and a public research organisation.

“Chief executive officer Brice Cruchon saw the tech’s commercial potential and after six years of research and development, LAYER was launched through the Hello Tomorrow programme for deep tech startups,” the Al Jazeera report added.

So far, the invention has raised a total of 4.4 million euros (about $5.4 million USD), including a 2 million euros round in 2016 from angel investors for a pilot line, and 2.4 million euros in 2020 from industrial partners. 

The company plans to launch its industrial phase in 2024, with the goal of producing millions of modules annually.

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