Feeds

Solar power gets curtains twitching

Use your curtains to generate eco-power, says boffin

The essential guide to IT transformation

Given that curtains help us block light out, it seems sensible to use one side to suck up the sun’s rays. So a textiles boffin has developed "smart" drapes with integrated solar panels.

Solar_curtains

Gadget-powering curtains

Sheila Kennedy, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has begun developing a thin-film photovoltaic fabric. Essentially, this material looks and behaves like cloth, but also works as a solar panel when exposed to light.

Power collected by the panels is stored in rechargeable battery packs sewn into the curtains' hems. The charge can then be moved into a larger battery, which acts as a central power source for individual homes.

Kennedy believes that so-called "solar textiles" could help people revolutionise the way electricity is generated and used. She also reckons that the photovoltaic ‘cells’ could be produced like rolls of newspaper – making cheap mass-production possible.

However, she admitted that the panels are less efficient than traditional glass-based solar panels.

As part of a research project into solar textiles, Kennedy has already developed a prototype solar-powered dwelling called Soft House. The home’s solar sucking curtains track the sun and generate up to 16,000Wh of electricity, which she claims is more than half the daily power requirement of an average American household.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?