As milestones go, the ability to exceed the power density of solar technology might well be the real game changer for Strategic Elements’ Energy Ink technology for generating electricity from moisture in the air.

While recent testing has proven that the tech can achieve stable output voltages that are critical to powering sensitive electronic circuits and generating twice the energy consumed by a leading continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) skin patch over seven days, Energy Ink now has beating solar generation’s power density in its sights.

Power density is a measure of how much power can be generated from a given space and solar is the reigning champion with no other relevant renewable energy technology coming close to beating it at this game.

Strategic Elements’ (ASX:SOR) believes that’s about to change, with moisture-to-energy conversions that are being engineered into an Energy Ink cell showing significant breakthroughs.

Being able to exceed the power density of solar will open up potential larger-scale opportunities for the Energy Ink technology, especially where solar or grid energy is either impractical or too expensive.

Strategic Elements is already working with experts from specialised areas, such as electric vehicle charging and computing infrastructure, to identify initial applications that leverage the features of the Energy Ink.

These include:

  • Using free, limitless ambient moisture to generate renewable energy both day and night;
  • The printable nature of Energy Ink reducing time and cost as well as allowing for its use on portable, lightweight and flexible materials; and
  • Much smaller footprint that avoids the need for expensive grid infrastructure.

“It is obvious that the potential rewards from the successful development of larger-scale Energy Ink systems are immense,” managing director Charles Murphy said.

“However, it should also be recognised that the technology is under development and still has risks.

“Success in the short-term development pathway outlined will provide a strong, early indication of the technology’s potential to scale up and power certain larger-scale systems.”

Key inventor and head of the University of New South Wales team professor Dewei Chu said his team was keen to work with Strategic Elements and potential end users to leverage the great potential of moisture-enabled power generation in applications from wearable electronics to IoT sensors and now to larger-scale electricity generation.


Short-term development plans

Strategic’s wholly-owned subsidiary Australian Advanced Materials is working with Professor Chu and his team to engineer recent discoveries into the ink formula.

Work will then be carried out on optimisation of the ink to enable cells to be printed freestanding or onto a polymer, creating an ultra-thin layer of about 200 micrometres (two sheets of paper).

This is aimed at fabricating and testing Energy Ink cells with power density exceeding solar, or about 20 milliwatts (mW) per cm2.

Nano-engineering and optimisation work is expected to take approximately 12 weeks while fabrication and testing are expected to take a further 10-12 weeks.




This article was developed in collaboration with Strategic Elements, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.