In a twist on solar power, a Filipino inventor has created resin panels that harvest solar energy from recycled vegetables and can work even on cloudy, rainy days or out of direct sunlight.
It turns out that there are extremely sensitive chemicals in vegetables that convert the sun’s ultraviolet light into visible light, which, in turn, can be used to generate electricity from photovoltaic cells.
When placed between the panes of a double-glazed window, the different colored panels push sunlight to the edges of the glass, where photovoltaic cells convert it into electricity – enough to charge two smartphones, but still they’re used to cover an entire building, it can power important systems, as well as delight viewers with its Andy Warhol-esque use of bright colors.
This innovation, made from recycled vegetable residues, the valió has known creator, Carvey Ehren Maigue, of 29 years, el Premio a la Sostenibilidad de la Fundación Dyson 2020. Maigue lo llamó AuREUS, ya que su naturaleza multicolor se parece a la Aurora borealis.
Unlike the bulky solar panels we all think of, AuREUS is a plant-based polymer sheet, and it can be bent, molded, and squeezed into virtually any shape.
Also, they don’t need UV light to shine directly on them, harvesting UV light through clouds like plants do. If placed on a fully shaded roof, they can still generate power if UV light were to bounce off, say, a nearby skyscraper or field.
He says there’s nothing stopping the base polymer from even being used to make yarn for clothing, allowing people to generate electricity while walking.
Designed to have the least possible impact, Maigue searched not only for plant debris, but also for crops destroyed by storms and typhoons. The panels are presented in red, orange, yellow, green and blue, with a suitable and natural blue dye yet to be discovered.