by Tobias Stahl on 31.05.2021
The AuREUS material can generate energy from UV light. The ultraviolet light also passes through cloud cover – generating electricity even when the sky is overcast.
James Dyson AwardThe AuREUS material can generate energy from UV light. The ultraviolet light also passes through cloud cover – and thus generates electricity even when the sky is overcast.
For 15 years now, the James Dyson Award has been presented to young people who use fresh ideas to make everyday products a little better. One of the young engineers and designers on this year’s entry list has come up with something that sounds almost too good to be true: a solar power system made from organic waste that works even without sunny weather.
The invention, submitted by 27-year-old student and inventor Carvey Ehren Maigue to last year’s James Dyson Award, is so unique that it even won its own sustainability award for the first time. The focus on sustainability is no accident: Maigue lives in the Philippines, one of the countries most affected by climate change.
Maigue’s invention, called AuREUS System Technology, is a new material that can convert UV light into energy. Unlike conventional solar panels, the fluorescent-yellow material absorbs UV light and then begins to glow. This releases energy as visible light, which in turn can be turned into electricity using tiny solar panels. If that’s not enough of an attraction for you, unlike conventional photovoltaic or solar thermal systems, the material also works under cloudy skies – and what’s more, it consists almost entirely of organic waste.
This idea makes it easy for anyone to use solar power. In the future, energy from the sun can be generated in front of the house instead of just on it. It also serves as protection from prying eyes.
“When I first competed in 2018, my invention was just a window that aimed to harness UV light, sunlight, and convert it into electricity,” Maigue tells James Dyson Award staff in an interview. “Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to make that glass at the time, but I developed the product further and lifted the concept and the technology and found other applications for it. AuREUS is actually a material or technology that allows other devices to harvest UV light and convert it into electricity. AuREUS is based on a plastic material, so it can be made into different shapes.”
Currently, inventor Carvey Maigue is working on making the fluorescent yellow material more convertible. Then it could even be used in clothing.
James Dyson FoundationCurrently, inventor Carvey Maigue is working on making the fluorescent yellow material more versatile. Then it could even be used in clothing.
The material consists of 80 percent waste, and only 20 percent is man-made. Maigue gets the waste from Philippine farmers. Their harvests have been increasingly destroyed in recent years by natural disasters such as severe storms or floods. Instead of disposing of the actually ruined harvest, it can now be used to produce the AuREUS material. At one time, the material was said to be made of 100 percent organic waste.
Now, as the winner of the Dyson Sustainability Award, the young inventor already has a number of ideas for bringing his material to the people: “I want to make threads and fabrics so that even clothing would be able to harvest ultraviolet light and convert it into electricity. We also want to make curved sheets that could be used in electric cars, airplanes and even boats.” The technology could also capture UV radiation that has so far bounced off buildings, sidewalks and streets in cities and gone unused.
“AuREUS has the opportunity to bring solar energy capture closer to people,” Maigue explains. “Just like computers used to be used only by the government or military and now the same technology is in our smartphones, I want solar energy harvesting to become more accessible.”
Translated from the original: https://efahrer.chip.de/news/student-erfindet-solaranlage-aus-abfall-sie-funktioniert-ohne-sonnenlicht_105027 loaded 01.06.2021