By: Kerrisa Wilson
There’s a new type of window blinds that can do more than just provide shade. Smart solar blinds called SolarGaps, use solar power to charge your devices, while also saving you money on your electricity bill.
Launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter this week, SolarGaps can be installed over a window at home or in the office to maximize solar power consumption. Designed by an LA-based team, the traditionally styled smart blinds automatically adjust to the angle of the sun to generate solar electricity.
The smart blinds are ideal for renters who can’t easily reap the benefits of renewable energy by installing solar panels on their roof. SolarGaps are covered with photovoltaic modules and can produce up to 100 to 150 watts of energy per 10 square feet of a window — enough to power three MacBooks.
SolarGaps includes a dock that allows users to charge and power their devices with the generated energy. If extra energy is collected from the smart blinds, it can be stored by battery and used for later consumption. By using SolarGaps, the company claims users can save up to 70 percent on their electricity bills.
The smart blinds aren’t just a cool piece of solar power tech, they actually do provide shade and could also reduce air conditioning costs by 40 percent.
With the SolarGaps app, users can control their blinds from anywhere in the world. Users can lower or raise the blinds, change the angle and view how much energy is being generated. The app also provides weather forecasts and updates so users can maximize solar power consumption.
SolarGaps comes with DIY instructions for installation. It’s recommended the blinds are mounted outside, over a window, because if installed inside, less power is generated. So far, SolarGaps has raised $15,570 USD on Kickstarter and has a month left in its campaign. The first shipment of SolarGaps is anticipated for December 2017.