Energy Curtain Captures Energy From Sunlight

The Energy Curtain is a window shade that is specially woven from a unique blend - a blend of textiles, solar collection and light emitting materials. It is the product of a research project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. It was demonstrated at the Wired NextFest 2006 festival of technology at the Javits Center in NYC about a month ago.


(Energy Curtain at NextFest 2006)

During the day, the shade is drawn, lessening the sun's impact inside a dwelling. At night, the energy recovered by the curtain is displayed as a glowing pattern on the inside surface of the shade.


(Energy Curtain detail at NextFest 2006)

The Energy Curtain fabric consists of two layers. The inner layer is woven with optical fibers and the outer layer integrates solar cells. Polyester filament yarns in the middle and on the sides are drawn through the curtain and connected to a bar across the top and bottom.

The Energy Curtain shows how power can be made integral to the function and aesthetic expression of an otherwise ordinary artifact. The residents are actually faced with a choice about energy: they can pull the curtain aside to enjoy the sun's illumination and heat during the day, or they can pull the curtain closed, and make use of the energy gained that evening.

In this way, the object acts to stimulate reflection on the trade-offs with regards to a local, sustainable system and a basis for exploring how people might evolve a relationship with such a self-sustaining object and their own energy behaviors over time.


(Energy Curtain returns light at night)

See also the disappearing pattern bathroom shower tiles that demonstrate hot water energy use (another STATIC! project).

Thanks again to the organizers of NextFest (see more NextFest 2006 Devices, Stories and Pictures). Read more about the Energy Curtain in this Energy Curtain pdf.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/2/2006)

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