Solar panels are the foundation of the clean energy revolution. Yet, they have one significant flaw, their productivity dives when the clouds roll in.
To solve this problem, an electrical engineering student at Mapua University has developed a new type of solar panel that harvests the ultraviolet light from the sun, which cannot be seen with naked eyes, that passes through even thick cloud coverage.
Carvey Ehren Maigue, who won the James Dyson Sustainability Award in 2020, hopes to soon use it on the windows and walls of large buildings, giving them a constant source of energy.
How does this solar penal work
The concept named AuREUS (Aurora Renewable Energy and UV Sequestration) uses luminescent particles from the waste of fruits and vegetables to absorb UV light and convert it into visible light, after which a solar film converts that visible light into energy.
Maigue’s prototype for AuREUS is a single 3 by 2 foot panel that he installed in the window in his apartment. In a demonstration, he showed that his test panel could generate enough electricity to charge two phones per day. He says that these panels would enable buildings to run entirely on solar panels when scaled up.
What are his plans
Maigue asks designers to help more people understand and adopt renewable energy solutions by using resin material’s flexibility and making panels in various innovative designs.
Maigue aims to develop his first building installation of AuREUS at a small medical clinic on the island of Jomalig, Philippines. The island is frequently without power during storms.
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