Solar-powered lighting devices introduced in Japan

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has started a project to test a self-luminous lighting device using organic solar cells.

It is part of NEDO’s project for testing organic solar cells and led by Research Association for Technology Innovation of Organic Photovoltaics (RATO).

The device was installed in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. RATO formed a partnership with the city government and started to test the E-SEG self-emitting guidance light. RATO installed 49 units of the light near Koku-koen Station in the city. They emit light as guidance lights from sunset to sunrise, and their performance such as durability under actual usage environments are checked.

RATO developed the E-SEG (emergency self-emitting guidance light device) by combining organic solar cells with LEDs and rechargeable batteries, and it is used as a guidance light in case of emergency. It does not use any cord, eliminating limitations concerning power supplies and wiring as well as the need for special mounts. As a result, it can be installed at low costs.

The employed organic solar cell can generate electricity even with a small amount of sunlight (or light), enabling to install the E-SEG in a wider variety of places. In the latest test, an E-SEG having a 1m-long 150 x 150mm luminous body was installed. RATO plans to find problems through the test, aiming to commercialize the E-SEG in the future.

Tokorozawa City has been engaged in the introduction of renewable energy-based power generation systems including solar power generation systems under the “Machi-goto (entire city) Eco Town Tokorozawa Concept.” RATO and the city concluded an agreement on the test of organic solar cells as part of NEDO’s project.

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