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G24 Debuts Solar Charging Tech In Bag Line

10/12/2009 02:05:34 PM Eastern

Silicon Valley, Calif. - A new solar-powered charging technology will debut this week in a collection of consumer electronics bags and cases.

Solar G24iG24 Innovations (G24i), a manufacturer of industrial solar cells, has inked a deal with Mascotte Industrial Associates, a Hong Kong-based consumer electronics bag manufacturer, for a line of bags embedded with next-generation dye-sensitized solar cell technology to power and charge handheld devices.

G24i's dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) are an alternative to traditional silicon solar cells and represent what the company is calling "a disruptive technology to environmentally-depleting batteries."

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A DSSC panel will actively harvest energy from any light source - from direct sunlight outdoors down to even artificially low-lit indoor environments. Enough energy can be harvested to power and recharge devices such as cellphones, e-books, cameras and portable LED lighting systems, according to G24i. The cells are reportedly extremely lightweight and durable.

It marks the world's first commercial application of DSSC solar technology, according to G24i, which acquired the exclusive license to manufacture the technology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EFPL) in Lausanne. The DSSC module is based on a technology invented by Prof. Michael Grätzel, Ph. D, director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces at the Institute.

The breakthrough for the technology was the development of a low-cost, roll-to-roll manufacturing process which can support a range of diverse applications for the technology, G24i said.

Mascotte will display consumer-ready bags for the first time at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, beginning this Wednesday, Oct. 14. The company expects that the first commercial designs will be available to consumers under the Concord Keystone and Scratch Tracks brands by December.

On a larger scale, G24i's projects that its DSSC modules can be integrated effectively into such clothing, tents, electronic advertising displays and indoor building-integrated photovoltaic systems which must meet local green building codes requiring on-site generation or mandated energy efficiency measures.

The company maintains its manufacturing and R&D divisions at a 23-acre, 187,000 square-foot facility in Cardiff, Wales. Its global sales and marketing headquarters is based here in Silicon Valley.

G24i holds the European license for DSSC and has unlimited worldwide distribution rights, which includes all current and forward intellectual property.

Commenting on the announcement, G24i's CEO John Hartnett, said, "Our goal is to deliver the future of mobile energy by personalizing solar power, which we will achieve by remaining at the forefront of design and development of this revolutionary light-harvesting technology. With this shipment we are sending a clear signal to OEM and electronics manufacturers that the lightweight, flexible G24i DSSC module is a highly differentiated product that will help them meet the rapidly growing needs of eco-conscious consumers. Our modules can easily be integrated into a wide variety of consumer products, and offer significant potential for cost reduction and enhanced value, as well as lowering the carbon footprint generated by such products."

Today's announcement is the first of a number of commercial partnerships under active development, G24i said. As the company builds out its manufacturing capabilities to mass production levels, it is focused on expanding the DSSC product portfolio through R&D and partnerships with other consumer product manufacturers.

The company said it will announce shortly details of a "Power Up Your Products" program, allowing developers to use DSSC in their products and applications. Under the program interested partners will be allowed to sign up online at www.g24i.com.

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