AUREUS: COLOURFUL PANELS WITH AN IMPORTANT MISSION
The award winning AuREUS system is transforming windows and walls into vibrant coulorful facades. But this innovative technology has a more important goal than simply applying a colorful façade treatment.
Engineering student Carvey Maigue of Mapua University Manila, created this cutting-edge technology out of the desire to provide better access to solar energy for climate mitigation and to support the local agriculture industry.
Mr Maigue discovered he could harness electricity from UV rays using recycled crop waste. He created two designs, Astralis Solar Wall and Borealis Solar Window which use similar technology as found in the remarkable northern and southern lights. High energy particles are absorbed by luminescent particles that re-emit them as visible light.1 Similar types of luminescent particles, derivable from certain fruits and vegetables, are suspended in a resin substrate and is used as the core technology.1 When hit by UV light, the particles absorb and re-emit visible light along the edges due to internal reflectance.1 The visible light emitted is captured by PV cells which are placed along the edges and then converted to DC electricity.1 Regulating circuits will process the voltage output to allow direct utilisation of electricity.1
In layman’s terms, these vibrant window and wall panels use technology synthesized from upcycled crop waste to absorb stray UV light from sunlight and convert it to clean renewable energy.
Currently 80% of the dyes for the panels are sourced from fruits and vegetables instead of chemical solutions. A stable alternative to blue dye is being developed to add to their collection which currently includes Red, Orange, Yellow and Green.1 Success in this area will bring sustainability to a full circle.1
Unlike conventional solar panels, which only work in clear conditions and must be placed horizontally to directly face the sun, the AuReus panels are able to harvest power even when not directly facing the sun which means vertical application is possible making it highly applicable for skyscrapers, building facades and windows.2
Mr Maigue won the inaugural James Dyson Sustainability Award in 2020 for his AuREUS technology.
1. The James Dyson Foundation, "Aureus: Aurora Renewable Energy & UV Sequestration", https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/2020/project/aureus-aurora-renewable-energy-uv-sequestration/
2. Jennifer Hahn, "Solar panels made from food waste win inaugural James Dyson Sustainability Award", https://www.dezeen.com/2020/11/27/aureus-carvey-ehren-maigue-james-dyson-awards-sustainability/
Images are courtesy of The James Dyson Foundation.