Talk about killing the proverbial two birds with one stone. Ukranian start-up SolarGaps has devised a way for a simple, pragmatic household feature to do double-duty and generate energy.
While they look fairly typical, the Smart Blinds are covered with a seamlessly integrated shell of photovoltaic panels, enabling them to harness energy from the sun.
The notion occurred to SolarGaps founder Yevgen Erik, who had been installing heat-reducing blinds in eco-wise office buildings and houses. Erik studied the solar-tracking facilities of sunflowers, incorporating these small contortions into the technology—the Smart Blinds automatically adjust their position to achieve high solar absorption rates.
Users who desire maximum shading may close the blinds fully at anytime—five minutes after the space has been vacated, the blinds return to tracking the sun.
Solar Blinds produce significant energy savings. One square meter placed on the exterior of glass windows can produce up to 100 watts of electricity. Estimated savings run as high as 70% reduction of household electricity bills, and unused power may be sold back to the grid or saved as an emergency back-up for power failures.
Solar Gaps also offers a nifty app—users may make remote adjustments in solar tracking and monitor power production. See SolarGaps for additional information.