Today’s Solutions: March 29, 2023

Big industries, such as agriculture and transportation, are starting to move toward renewable energy to create an eco-friendly future, but if we want to maximize the benefits of renewable sources, we must embrace them in our homes and everyday lives.

The democratization and normalization of solar technology is the motivation behind Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel’s solar lamp, Sunne.

Sunne’s sleek design is lightweight and equipped with photovoltaic cells and an integrated battery so that it can harvest and store enough daylight to illuminate your home once the sun goes down. Because it generates its own power, there is no need for a plug or external electricals, which keeps the look and shape of the lamp chic and minimal.

The lamp is meant to be hung by a window so that it can absorb the sun’s rays through SunPower Solar Cells that Van Aubel developed in collaboration with The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands. The side of the lamp that faces the window is fitted with solar cells while the room-facing side is covered in LED lights.

The light turns itself on once the sun starts setting, after which you can choose from three settings: Sunne Rise, Sunne Light, and Sunne Set. The oblong shape is reminiscent of the horizon, complimenting the three light settings which mimic the changing colors of the sky.

Van Aubel and her team also want to develop an app that can display information about the battery level and how much light is being collected by the solar cells so that users can place the lamp in a location with the best conditions for harvesting solar energy.

Van Aubel is a self-proclaimed “solar designer” and has already created a photovoltaic “stained glass” window and a solar desk that can charge your phone. Her vision is for solar power that is integrated into our homes, rather than solely reserved for centralized plants or households that can afford to install roof-mounted solar panels.

Sunne is one of the first solar-powered pieces that people can purchase and own, but it certainly won’t be the last. As solar cells become more affordable, a future where entire homes are run solely on solar may not be far off.

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