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Solar Blinds

This isn’t new, dates back to 2017, wondering why it’s not discussed more nor any manufacturing them in Australia

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I did a Uni short course on solar power. Some of these applications are “good ideas” but have not taken off due to either the technology isn’t quite there yet, the added expense over conventional solar panels is still too great, the structure needs to be created with the solar efficiency in mind (windows oriented to the maximum solar gain, wiring to harvest & collect power, and in some countries, legislation has to be changed to allow generation and reselling (a Body Corporate or Building owner, generating power on the roof and selling or providing it to third parties - rather than protecting a State Owned power company’s monopoly).

Councils would prefer to approve more aesthetic installations, CBD highrise buildings have limited roof space, hence the research into turning the outside of buildings in to stylish solar collectors. Solar Venetian blinds behind glass (inside the building) would have less efficiency and possibly generate some unwanted heat. There’s no doubt that solar generation will turn up in many forms - I have seen aircraft wings with thin solar, heard of “paint on” solar etc. But reality at present is conventional panels are the most affordable.

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It started as a kickstart crowd funding effort.

There is more information here.

A few reasons I can guess why they will struggle include our electrical laws.

  • Although ‘you can sell power to your electric supplier’ the barriers to an individual doing that here are high, eg that licensed electrician certified for solar power installation. You can use them to charge your batteries, but how to legally integrate them (or the panels) with your wiring?
  • The cost compared to a conventional system appear high, to be polite. How many renters would invest always knowing their tenancy could be ephemeral?

and the current status (14 Aug 2019):

Dear backers!

It has been a long way from starting this project on Indiegogo and of fixing critical mistakes. We are really sorry for the delay and understand how upsetting it must have been for all of you to wait for such a long time!

Finally, we are ready to ship all the orders.

We have sent around 170 letters to clarify your delivery information from July 26th to July 30th.

Unfortunately we did not receive any answers for almost half of the letters, so please check your spam folders!

If you have any comments or want to make changes to your initial order, please contact our manager directly through yan@solargaps.com

Best regards,

SolarGaps Team

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Yes, and one of the factors would be rainwater cleaning or manual cleaning. Being against a building wall, the blinds would collect dust and most likely protected from rain washing. This would mean they would rely on manual cleaning…which if anyone has cleaned venetian blinds, what an enjoyable exercise it is. Solar blinds being high on walls would make cleaning near impossible, impracticable or very expensive.

There would also be problem of shading, especially on northern walls in the low to mid latitudes (the upper blinds shading the lower blind) or limited generation capacity if installed on eastern or western walls (generation would only be maximised when shading not an issue snd sun lower in the sky). All significantly impacting on their output and efficiency.

I think that this tries to solve a problem which may not exist or tries to develop a more complicated technical solution when simpler solutions exist. It would be far cheaper to install exterior blinds (which have been around for decades, if not centuries, and separate traditional PV panels.

It is possibly one of those great thought bubbles which in reality, doesn’t really make sense.

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Thank you! As I will never live in a house, having blinds would have been a good option. Expensive but would hopefully pay off in a few years.

Window glass getting overheated would be a concern as glass in older buildings might not take the heat.

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