A startup has developed a blind that can turn any window into a solar panel
Spotted: While solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way for homeowners to save energy costs by generating their own power, this option is not available to those who rent or live in flats without their own roof space. British company Filia Solar was founded to democratise solar power by turning any window into a solar panel.
Filia has developed a way to attach solar film from a continuous roll directly to external roller blinds. The thin, flexible film is produced by Power Roll, and is claimed to be more effective than traditional silicon panels when partially shaded or in low light. The film is manufactured using a simple roll-to-roll printing technique to deposit perovskite compounds, used in solar cells, into microgrooves etched on a thin flexible film. This film then acts as a solar collector.
The Filia blinds will come as a complete unit. They will work as a blackout blind, blocking sunlight to keep indoor spaces cooler in summer and warmer in winter, while also producing energy. The blinds will come with a mobile app that allows users to program them to be rolled down and powered up when no-one is home. The system also comes with in-app learning, so the blinds can operate to maximum efficiency.
David Wharton, chief executive and founder of Filia, emphasises the way that the blinds could help those living in flats and high-rises to enjoy the savings solar can bring. “Filia is all about democratising energy,” he says. “Power Roll’s film is a complete game-changer at around 10 times cheaper than competing film-based solar products. Integrating Power Roll’s technology into our unique roller blind solutions will, for the first time, give many people access to affordable, clean solar power. What’s more, we are generating power exactly where it’s used – in the urban environment.”
A growing number of innovators are looking to windows as a cost-effective way to improve sustainability and efficiency. Some ideas we have seen recently include a window coating that blocks infrared light and a window design that blocks sunlight in the summer and lets it in during the winter.
Written By: Lisa Magloff