By: Vashti Hallissey
Tech worshippers could soon be connecting to a higher power in more ways than one, with a solar-powered stained-glass window that can charge tech tools. Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel’s design New Creation uses glass that works like solar cells to top up digital devices.
New Creation features a pattern of different colored panes which are made with dye-sensitized solar cells. These pieces of glass use the properties of color to generate power, in the same way as photosynthesis in plants. They absorb daylight and can also harness diffused sunlight to store energy.
This power can be transferred to devices via an integrated USB in the window ledge. So while you are tending to house plants at the home or office, you could also be getting into a good read on the tablet by using an eco-friendly alternative to electricity.
The larger the surface area, the greater the energy harnessed, so libraries, schools, and hospitals could use Marjan van Aubel’s design to access a huge amount of sustainable and free power. It also has the potential to transform the way we top up at home, by turning existing design-features, such as windows, glass-topped conservatories and greenhouses, into energy sources.
Solar power is going way beyond panels this year, with products such as Telsa’s low-cost solar batteries, solar light bulbs, and a solar power smartphone case, all announced in 2015.
Transport is another area in which we are seeing a innovation in this field, with solar powered e-bikes, jets, and planes all on the horizon.
With New Creation, Marjan van Aubel mixes the aesthetic appeal of stained-glass windows, which people have appreciated for centuries, with the latest in solar technology. The project brings this ancient design into the 21st century, and it is among many recent innovations that show the potential of solar power to transform the way we access power.