We are used to see solar panels in bags where they work as fashionable and practical energy sources on the go. Using the same technology on curtains is a fairly new application field.
The much larger area a curtain offers to catch sun light and convert it to electrical energy makes perfect sense considering one of a curtains purpose is to prevent too much sunlight coming into the room and heat it up.
Architect Sheila Kennedy, known for her widely publicized Portable Light project where she proposes the use of Wearable Electronic for the other 90% by integrating solar panels into bags has applied the same principle to curtains: making use of the freely available and renewable energy of the sun and transform it to usable energy generated by everyday objects.
Sheila’s Solar curtain is part of her latest project called ‘Soft House‘ showing how traditional architectural materials can be transformed into electricity generating elements which can one day provide a significant part of the electrical power needs for its inhabitants.
Solar curtains are not a entirely new idea as the work of Sweden-based Interactive Studios showed a similar concept back in 2005.
The Energy Curtain, a window shade that is specially woven from a unique blend – a blend of textiles, solar collection and light emitting materials has been presented at the Wired NextFest 2006 festival. The energy curtain was a research project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.
It would be already cool if the curtain in my living room could give me enough electrical juice to recharge my iPod and cell phone. Shouldn’t be that difficult to realize with present day technologies, isn’t it?