SunCurtain presents OPV technology for shading solutions that generates sustainable electricity
The start-up SunCurtain, founded in 2018 in Kitzingen, Germany, pursues the vision of making a meaningful contribution to a sustainable energy future through environmentally friendly OPV technology and converting every window into a power plant.
Thus, SunCurtain has successfully developed OPV lamella curtains which serve as an efficient shading solution within buildings. In addition, they offer a pleasant atmosphere, higher building efficiency and energy savings. The energy generated by the OPV slats can be integrated into the existing power grid, temporarily stored or used to supply surrounding devices directly. The SunCurtain shading systems generate electricity all year round. The right sun protection strategy is particularly important in summer. Everyone wants their rooms, whether at home or in the office, to be filled with natural daylight. But nobody seems to take into account the excessively high indoor temperatures that occur on some summer days due to lack of shading. With the shading system, which not only protects against overheating due to incident sunlight, but also uses this solar energy to generate electricity, the young company SunCurtain GmbH wants to contribute to increasing energy efficiency and at the same time enhance comfort.
Stephan Hildebrandt, product manager at SunCurtain, describes the challenge as follows: "Detailed analyses of buildings in which around 40 percent of our energy is consumed worldwide show that much is being done to maximise building efficiency through adapted architecture or more economical equipment. But as soon as the sun shines a little brighter, the blinds are pulled down or curtains closed and the lights and air conditioning are switched on. Even the supposedly best energy efficiency will no longer make sense if the user consumes additional electricity. In short, the cumulative energy of the sun is switched off, which increases the power consumption inside – that is paradoxical."
SunCurtain decided that it would be wiser to develop a shading system that absorbs the solar energy, makes it available to the user and at the same time mitigates the side effects of intense sunlight. The curtain consists of flexible photovoltaic modules from ARMOR solar power films GmbH (formerly OPVIUS GmbH) and therefore looks like a classic vertical lamella curtain. Semi-transparent slats in different colours only allow a certain amount of visible light to pass through, while ultraviolet and infrared radiation is greatly reduced – to the benefit of the indoor climate. Design and format adaptations can be easily integrated, as they are produced in a single printing process. And the curtains produce electricity that is fed directly into the home's power supply system. The curtain can be connected to a power outlet or battery backup. Because it is so easy to install, it can also be incorporated into existing buildings. The hidden potential is in every window.
Caption: OPV for energy generation – the innovative shading system from SunCurtain offers many advantages (photo: SunCurtain)