Innovation

Solar blinds designed to give flat-dwellers access to sun’s energy

KIEV, UKRAINE (RECENT – OCTOBER 2018) (REUTERS) – A Ukrainian firm which last year launched solar panel window blinds says its product will give the millions of people living in apartments access to solar power.

Solar Gaps believes its blinds are the first in the world to incorporate solar panels.

The smart blinds generate renewable energy using photovoltaic modules installed on every slat.

Solar Gaps founder Yevgen Erik told Reuters: “Around 60 percent of the Ukrainian population do not have a roof at all to install solar panels. It means a window is the only source for green energy which we can use. And blinds, unlike any other tools, can resolve this problem and generate maximum amount of energy through the window.”

It took Erik two years to develop the product and, after a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign last year, it’s now on the market.

Erik says that if installed outside on a south-facing window, one square metre of Solar Gaps can produce 100-150 Watts per hour and reduce energy consumption by an estimated 70 percent.

With the help of a light censor, blinds track the location of the sun and change the angle in order to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.

Erik said that it can absorb low sun rays, which rooftop solar panels struggle to do. Customers can also program the blinds to open and close according to the weather forecast which is integrated into the application.

The product isn’t solely aimed at apartment dwellers.

“Let’s take Canada as an example,” said Erik. “The sun is very bright during winters in Canada. Even if it’s -40 degrees outdoors, all Canadians have blinds at their homes because it is uncomfortable to stay inside. The sun is right above the horizon and solar panels cannot use that type of sunlight. On the contrary, panels, which we produce, can easily adjust to the angle of sunlight and work even in northern countries.”

The firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with Apple to develop their product and is now working on upgraded version which will be able to work in shadow.


Associated Links

  • Apple
  • ThomsonReuters
  • Renewable energy
  • Universe
  • Geography of Europe
  • Europe
  • Kievan Rus'
  • Republics
  • Ukraine
  • Kiev
  • Solar power
  • Window blind

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