Innovation That Matters

The vertical system v. normal solar farms | Photo source Aurora

System allows vertical solar farming from UV sequestration

Agriculture & Energy

The design uses upcycled crop waste to absorb stray UV light from sunlight and converts it to clean renewable electricity

Spotted: A student at Mapua University in Manila has designed an evolution for walls and windows that will enable the construction of Vertical Solar Farms. The system, named AuREUS, uses technology synthesised from upcycled crop waste to absorb stray UV light from sunlight, and convert it to clean renewable electricity.

The designer, Carvey Ehren Maigue, was inspired by the Aurora lights. Instead of using conventional PV cells and directly converting UV to electricity, the system first degrades visible light (solar wind radiation to aurora lights) and then later captures the photons. The captured visible light is then converted to DC electricity. Regulating circuits will process the voltage output to allow battery charging, storage, or the direct utilisation of electricity.

In addition, AuREUS also upcycles fruit and vegetable scraps. Instead of using chemical particles, luminescent particles are extracted by sourcing dyes from fruits and vegetables, bringing sustainability to a full circle. 

Until now, Solar Farms have always been built horizontally, but never vertically. This is because conventional PV cells lack the capability to capture high energy UV light. However, AuREUS can produce electricity even when not facing the sun, as it relies on UV scattering through clouds and by UV light bouncing along walls, pavements and other buildings.

This will enable the construction of a Vertical Solar Farm even with a small lot area. It is also highly applicable for skyscrapers in urban settings, allowing access to clean renewable electricity. 

Written By: Katrina Lane

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