Electricity from blinds
Жалюзи
LC Dynamics, a South African startup, founded in 2021 by entrepreneur Lisa von Benecke is going to launch in December production of the blinds able to generate electricity thanks to the photovoltaic cells embedded in lamellas. The cost of the blinds equipped with lithium-ion batteries, LED lighting and DC outlets for recharging the devices will be 5,000 South African rands ($320).

The photo is sourced from lcdynamics.co.za

Blinds can become an alternative for consumers who are apartment building residents unable to partially meet their electricity demands by installing photovoltaic panels on the roofs of their own house buildings. Lamellas – horizontal plates – will automatically change their slope depending on the movement of the Sun, thereby facilitating power supply of laptops, mobile phones and other household appliances. The development has already received financial support: the Technological Innovation Agency of South Africa provided 200,000 African rands ($12.8 thousand) for its development and Lisa von Benecke, the founder of LC Dynamics, a winner of the Total Energies’ Startupper of the Year Challenge received 250,000 rands ($15 .900).

In case of success, the innovation of the LC Dynamics startup will be the next portable “device” in the field of solar energy. Earlier, Ubiquitous Energy, an American startup founded by the scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Michigan State University (MSU) raised $ 30 million for production of glasses with the integrated photovoltaic cells: transparent solar panels will transmit visible sunlight, and at the same time, absorb and convert the infrared rays into electricity. The novelty was tested in 2021 at the site of Nippon Sheet Glass Co., a Japanese glass manufacturer, and at the MSU campus and one of the office buildings in the city of Boulder, Colorado, the USA.

This year, the researchers from the MIT also proposed a non-contact method for cleaning solar generators based on the electrostatic repulsion effect. A conductor placed above a photovoltaic panel generates an electromagnetic field, which attracts the sand particles repelled by the opposite charge of the solar generator surface. The development allowing to avoid battery cleaning with water or a brush could find its application in Africa where the installed capacity of photovoltaic panels increased thirty times (from 346 to 10,302 megawatts, as says the International Renewable Energy Agency) between 2012 and 2021.

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