A Student Used Rotten Fruits And Vegetables To Create Solar Windows

Carvey Maigue, a Filipino student at Mapua University, has been preselected for the James Dyson Award 2020 for his AuREUS, a system that transforms rotten fruits and vegetables into renewable energy.  

His innovation was among 1800 technologies from young design engineers and inventors from 27 different countries. Their task was to create something that could solve a problem.  

Amid the pandemic, students from all over the world met virtually to find a solution to some global problems. Maigue`s AuREUS system uses food waste to absorb UV light and convert it into electricity. His system is used for buildings` walls and windows. AuREUS system uses the same technology as the phenomena that create the Northern Lights. High energy UV light is absorbed by luminescent particles that transform them into visible light.  

How AuREUS works

Similar types of luminescent particles, which can be obtained from some fruits and vegetables, were suspended in a resin substrate.  

When these particles are hit by UV light, they absorb it and emit it as visible light. When PV cells capture the light, they convert it to electricity.  

Solar windows can turn buildings into solar farms 

 AuREUS system can also turn buildings into solar farms. In comparison to the other traditional solar farms, AuREUS solar window can produce electricity even if it does not face the sun. In other words, AuREUS solar walls and windows can capture UV rays covered with clouds.  

Also, another benefit of the AuREUS system is that the solar windows absorb the UV rays that back onto the people walking outside. This means that this device also protects people from potential UV damage.  

What is the next step? 

At the moment, 80% of the colors used for luminescent particles are being derived from fruits and vegetables. The team is trying to increase it to 100%. Red, yellow, orange, blue, and green are the five colors that are used.  

This year has brought great challenges and it is clear that the inventors have demonstrated that young minds need a seat at the table. There is a need to solve global issues and the number of this year`s innovators has shown that the future of inventions is bright.  

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