This Solar Panel Can Work Even When There's No Sunlight

Dhir Acharya - Nov 30, 2020


This Solar Panel Can Work Even When There's No Sunlight

The concept makes use of luminescent particles from vegetable and fruit waste that absorb UV light, which is then converted into visible light.

Solar panels are the key components in the revolution of clean energy. But their operation is really limited when there are clouds over the area where they’re installed.

This can finally change as an electrical engineering student from Mapua University has developed a new kind of solar panel that can obtain unseen ultraviolet light the sun beams through dense clouds.

solar panel
This panel can obtain the UV light from the sun even when there are clouds

The creation helped the student win the James Dyson Sustainability Award, and he hopes that it will soon be deployed for walls and windows on large buildings to turn them into constant energy sources.

Dubbed AuREUS (or Aurora Renewable Energy and UV Sequestration), the concept was invented by Carvey Ehren Maigue from Mapua University, the Philippines.

The concept makes use of luminescent particles from vegetable and fruit waste that absorb UV light, which is then converted into visible light. Next, a solar film converts the light into energy. Maigue explained:

“It’s similar to how we breathe in oxygen and we exhale carbon dioxide. It takes in ultraviolet light, and then after some time it would shed it as visible light.”

solar panel
The panel is very flexible

The award Maigue won comes with a $35,000 prize (Rs 25.87 lakh), which will allow him to further develop his idea.

The prototype Maigue developed to demonstrate his concept is a 3x2 foot lime green-tinted panel he installed in the window of his apartment. In the demonstration for the James Dyson Award, Maigue showed that his panel could generate an amount of energy enough to charge two phones a day. If this model is scaled up, they could let buildings run on their own electricity.

solar panel
This material can be made into fabric too

Even better, Maigue added that the material can be applied to clothing fabrics so that more people can adopt new energy solutions. He said:

“If we can democratize renewable energy, we can bring it both physically closer to people as well as psychologically closer. It would give them a sense of access to it, that they are closer to it, that they don’t have to be large institutions that have the capability to harvest solar energy with their rooftops.”

The next step for Maigue is developing the first installation of this concept for a medical clinic in the Philippines that often had no power during storms.

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