An ideal alternative for houses on which the installation of roof solar panels is not feasible
An Ukrainian-based start-up has come up with a new invention to cut down your energy bills: smart blinds with built-in solar panels that can generate up to 100W-150W of energy per m2 of a window (enough to power 30 LED light bulbs or three MacBooks). SolarGaps are designed to look like traditional window blinds, but they are covered with SunPower solar cells having a 25-year lifespan.
The smart blinds, which should preferably be placed on the outside of windows and be controlled by a remote, track the sun throughout the day by automatically adjusting their angle for maximum efficiency. According to the company that makes them, their installation can save up to 70% on the electric power bill. In case of energy surplus, this can either be stored in a home battery system or sold to the utility grid. In addition to generating solar power, they also save energy by shading the home interior and reducing air-condition costs by up to 40%.
Characteristics and smart features
SolarGaps are equipped with high quality solar cells made in the USA by SunPower, while their outer shell is made out of a very strong and durable aluminum. They can withstand all climate conditions and operate perfectly in temperatures between -40 and + 176 Â°F. They are also designed â€˜to fit a broad range of windowsâ€™, having a variety of sizes ranging from Extra Small to Extra Large, and can even be custom-sized.
Moreover, following the latest technological trends, these blinds can easily integrate with smart devices like Google Home, Echo, Nest Thermostat and more to be controlled by voice, temperature and/or smartphone apps. They can even be set up to automatically open at specific times or when someone enters a room.
Yevgen Erik came up with the idea of solar blinds in the summer of 2015, while working as a construction worker installing blinds in large office buildings. "I spent one day in the fields outside of the city studying how the sunflowers followed the sun...then, I carried out research which proved that although solar modules are the cheapest among all other sources of energy, they are the most effective ones", he says. He then experimented with ways to replicate the automatically self-adjusting movement of the sunflowers.
A crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter has started in early May, where pledges of different value can buy you different dimensions of the product at 50% off the retail price. For instance, with $390 you can buy an XS version of the product 32" (81cm) x 36" (91cm) OR 36" (91cm) x 36" (91cm), with the first deliveries expected to be shipped in September.