Innovative wind and sun energy sources

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Sustainable energy in apartments
By Jinny Throup
More and more people are living in urban apartments where they have no way to create their own sustainable clean energy. But that may be about to change thanks to two new inventive technologies that can harvest solar power from windows, and wind power from balconies. Soligami is a unique origami-inspired solar panel that can turn windows into a source of electricity. The system looks similar to shutter blinds but they are actually solar energy panels. What makes it efficient is the folded design which greatly increases the surface area so that the energy production of the light passing through is much stronger. Created by the Australian architectural startup Prevalents, the simplicity of the manufacturing of the panels and their inexpensive materials, make it likely that the Soligami system will be an affordable option for urban consumers.

The other invention is called O-Wind. It is a small wind turbine that is perfect for generating power in urban environments because it can catch wind that is blowing from any direction. Cities are windy places, but typical wind turbines are only able to harness wind that is blowing directly onto it. That is why wind has not previously been a reliable urban power source. The O-Wind is made with vents on the exterior that can catch city crosswinds and spin accordingly. The turbine then feeds into a generator that creates electricity from the device’s rotations. Created by Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani from the UK, the O-Wind’s small design allows it to be easily affixed to apartment balconies as well as being suitable for other kinds of residences such as motor homes and boats.


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