Innovations in the energy sector and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Columbus Energy and Saule Technologies have entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Google Cloud for the development of new products using perovskite photovoltaic cells and solutions in the field of distributed energy and the Internet of Things. Google Cloud will also be a technology partner of both companies, providing them with cloud computing services.

The Internet of Things (IoT) market in Poland is growing

For several years, the growth rate of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been enormous. Already in 2019, the value of this market in Poland was 2.2 billion dollars. The rapidly growing global IoT market is forecast to reach $1.1 trillion in 2025. The idea of ​​IoT is to connect a network of various electronic devices, often very small and highly specialized, which generate and transfer information between them. These, however, require energy, which has so far limited their possible applications.

The solution to this problem could be perovskite photovoltaic cells from Saule Technologies, which was the first in the world to start producing them.

Perovskites as a power source for IoT devices

Perovskites are not only extremely light, thin and flexible, but also work effectively even in artificial light. These unique advantages make Saule Technologies’ cells an ideal power source for various types of IoT devices in virtually all conditions and locations, regardless of the presence of the power grid.

-NOTThe inability to provide IoT solutions with an independent power source has been a major impediment to IoT expansion so far, but our perovskite cells solve this problem. Now many brilliant ideas, supported by innovative technologies from Google or our partners at Columbus, a very experienced and innovative company in the field of photovoltaics, will finally have a chance to be implemented. – says Artur Kupczunas, member of the board of directors of Saule Technologies.

Electronic labels – what sets them apart?

The first product using perovskite technology is already in production. These are electronic price tags (Perovskite Electronic Shelf Label – PESL). They allow for multiple price changes throughout the day, work wirelessly, and use Google’s cloud computing and analytics potential.

Price tags equipped with perovskite modules are very efficient at collecting artificial and diffused light and offer great value for quick and efficient price exchange. This makes it possible to be competitive with the e-commerce market, but it is also a response to the omnibus directive which will come into force on May 28 and imposes an obligation to inform customers of current developments – mentioned at the press conference at Impact’22 in Poznań, Artur Kupczunas.

The undoubted advantage of the labels is the automatic control of the expiry date of the products, thanks to which we minimize the problem of food waste. The first implementations of this technology took place at the PKN Orlen station, in Play stores and in one of the largest retail chains in Poland.

Read our interview with Olga Malinkiewicz and Artur Kupczunas at the premiere of Electronic Price Tags.

Price lists are just the start

Perovskite price tags aren’t everything, however. The possible applications of this independent energy source are potentially limitless. Shops, supermarkets, but also museums and hotels. Wherever it is necessary to dynamically change the content on the screen.

During the Impact’22 press conference, Artur Kupczunas admitted that the company is currently working on new sizes and possibilities for using the Perovskite electronic shelf label.

In the future, perovskite cells could be used, among other things, in to power sensors monitoring forests and other areas at risk of fire or to provide a greater range of drones delivering for example medicine and food to people in need, staying in hard-to-reach areas.

A Saule Technologies board member also noted another value that comes from using perovskite technology.

– By adding our perovskite module, we extend the life of the products, and thus have a positive impact on the environment, because the battery does not have to be replaced so often – says Artur Kupczunas.

Distributed energy

Columbus Energy, Saule Technologies and Google Cloud will also collaborate on distributed energy solutions.

Columbus Energy develops a proprietary and intelligent system for supervising and optimizing energy flows – PowerHouse. Our HEMS system (home energy management system) it will be a smart management tool for all appliances and energy generated at home. This is a special algorithm that learns the energy behavior in order to adjust the energy consumption to the needs of the household. Thanks to the cooperation with Google Cloud, we have the opportunity to accelerate the implementation of this tool and improve its functionalitysays Dawid Zieliński, Chairman of the Board of Columbus Energy SA

Recall that the government program “My Electricity” can help in the development of home energy management systems. In the latest edition, the grant also covers the purchase and installation of HEMS/EMS energy management systems, as well as the installation of energy or heat storage.

Learn more about this year’s edition of the “My Current” program.

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from left to right: Marta Bilonowicz from Columbus Energy, Magdalena Dziewguć from Google Cloud in Poland, Artur Kupczunas from Saule Technologies and Agnieszka Rozwadowska from Columbus Energy and the Carbon Footprint Foundation during the press conference

Green energy transformation

Energy transformation is a necessity today. And market leaders know it. Google Cloud has energy transformation built into its development strategy.

– Supporting the energy transformation is one of the most important tasks of our entire generation. We must be on time with initiatives that will stop global warming. Green energy transformation using digital technologies is also a top priority for Google. We’re not only committed to moving to zero-emission energy by 2030 – we’re creating solutions to help others achieve similar goals – said Magdalena Dziewguć, Country Manager of Google Cloud in Poland.

By signing the agreement, Google Cloud will support Saule Technologies and Columbus Energy in creating innovative products that can revolutionize many areas of economy and life, also using the tools offered by cloud computing.

The companies assume that their cooperation will accelerate the Polish and potentially global energy and digital transformation, for the benefit of all, but especially for the communities most affected by digital exclusion or green energy problems.

Google Cloud has also expressed its willingness to join the Green Transformation Charter. The members and first signatories of the KZT are, among others, Columbus, Somfy, Skanska, the City of Piasts.

– As leaders in their industries, KZT members pledge to engage, be accountable for actions, support science in technology development, reduce the carbon footprint of products, services and organizational processesh- Agnieszka Rozwadowska, president of the Carbon Footprint Foundation, mentioned at the conference.

Find out what the Green Transformation Card is.

Source: report by the Digital Poland association, Columbus press release, press conference

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