Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Nick Ruktanonchai

    Nick Ruktanonchai

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 04:36 p.m.

    Interesting idea! Certainly this idea would help reduce cooling costs by reducing sunlight in the home, do you have any thoughts on how much energy these blinds could generate?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:44 p.m.

    First off, we’d like to thank you for your time and interest to browse our submission. The polycrystalline silicon we plan to incorporate in the blinds comes in standard panels of 156 mm by 156 mm. At 19.4% efficiency, each panel alone is able to output power at 4.98 Watts. This converts to roughly 19 Watts per square foot. Standard window sizes are approximately 2 feet by 5 feet, with the polycrystalline silicon on the blinds covering roughly 10 square feet of area. This means that for the standard window, 190 Watts are produced, leading to 1.140 kilowatt hours by accounting for 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. With an average of 10 windows per house, 11.4 kilowatt hours are saved per day, translating to savings of more than $500 annually (including the money saved for insulating the house). This energy can also easily be used for charging devices or lighting a light bulb at night.
    Best Regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 09:06 p.m.

    This seems a very elegant idea! I am having a little trouble envisioning the “flexible solar collectors” and how they’d actually work with the blinds — I have blinds like these (minus the solar collectors!) in my house, and they really help with both heating (in winter) and cooling (in summer — we don’t use AC). Where would the solar bit go? Have you experimented with any of these materials?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:46 p.m.

    Thank you for taking time out of your day to look over and critique our documents. We envision the solar cells to go on the top sides of the alternating honeycomb cell shape, which will be exposed to the sun and not covered by the shade. The cells would be placed more in the center of the blinds so shadows from the sides of the windows are not covering parts of the solar cells, ensuring no unused solar cells or wasted money in production. It is definitely ideal for us to be able to test on these materials, however, we have not personally experimented with these materials. Instead, we have conducted much research on these materials such as polycrystalline silicon and polyester. The solar cells we viewed were around 0.2 millimeters in thickness. These strips can be placed across the width of the blinds to collect the maximum amount of energy from the sun. Being 0.2 millimeters thin, the weight on the polyester will not be a burden on the shape of the honeycomb design. Reflected light from the panels will allow some light to pass through the bottom side of the honeycomb cell shape design to allow for natural lighting. Being foldable shades, we definitely want to extend to different ways of capturing solar energy in the future, for example, using solar paint, or using rollable and flexible solar panels (such as PowerFilm). However the efficiency and costs for gathering energy for these methods are not currently cost effective.
    Thank you so much for your interest in our submission,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Icon for: Kate Skog

    Kate Skog

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 10:21 p.m.

    Great idea! It seems like the shape of the blinds would really help with regulating temperature. How might this shape affect the efficiency of the solar cells? In contrast, would you have to adapt the design for the solar cells that might affect the insulation?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:47 p.m.

    Thank you so much for your interest in our idea! The shape of the blinds would definitely affect the efficiency of the solar cells as it may block the amount of sunlight that could be obtained by the solar cells. That is why the only area that the solar cells would be placed is on the top side of the honeycomb cell shape, that is directly facing the sunlight. The solar cells would be placed away from perimeter of the blinds so the shade caused by the window frame itself does not result in an unused solar cell (which wastes money and production). By placing the solar cells in those areas, the insulating shape of the honeycomb design will not have to be changed.
    Best Regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Icon for: Sergey Stavisky

    Sergey Stavisky

    Judge
    June 9, 2015 | 01:00 a.m.

    Great idea, Jessica, Karan, Mathew, Caroline, and compliments on your thorough motivation and cost estimation. My question is: how essential is the motion sensing aspect of your design? One concern is that people would be bothered by the frequent noise of the motors opening and closing the blinds, or the additional hassle (or “creepiness” factor) of having them automatically open even if the person doesn’t want them to open when entering a room. If these blinds didn’t open/close automatically, how much less energy would be saved, by your estimate?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:48 p.m.

    Thank you for your valued time and insightful question! That is very true. We have been thinking about using a simple servo motor to lift and lower the blinds, however from experience, these motors can be loud. Lowering the speed of the motor may allow for a more quiet automatic system. The automatic feature of the blinds is mainly to increase the convenience for busy people at home, and to allow for maximum energy efficiency for people who might forget to close their blinds when leaving the room. The motion sensor for the blinds should definitely have a feature to be disabled if it is undesirable, for example, in busy homes or business buildings. If the automatic feature of these blinds were to be removed, an estimated amount of more than 10 kilowatt hours will be saved per month, which is about $1.20 saved per month. However, if the blinds were to be left open for the majority of the day, for example, for the 5 hours of sunlight at work, then the energy gain would be reduced significantly. Every hour the blinds are folded up is 0.5 kwh and 6 cents lost in the household. The purpose of the automatic blind system is to allow the owner to optimize the energy-collecting benefits of the product.
    Best Regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion

  • Small default profile

    Ann Brookover

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 08:05 a.m.

    I vote for the solar blinds idea

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:29 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest and support!

  • Small default profile

    Peng Liu

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 03:21 p.m.

    I vote for solar blinds

  • Small default profile

    Andy Yin

    Guest
    June 9, 2015 | 10:11 a.m.

    I vote for blinds because someone told me to. It also seems interesting.

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:33 p.m.

    On behalf of PHS Greenbeans, we’d like to thank you both for your support!

  • Small default profile

    Pingbo Yin

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 03:41 p.m.

    I vote for the idea and the illustration of the presentation

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:30 p.m.

    Thank you for taking the time to support our idea Mr. Yin!

  • Small default profile

    Ron Gerard

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 05:10 p.m.

    To me, the cost does not seem to balance the energy savings. The machinery to detect humans in the vicinity and to adjust the slats of the blinds will probably be expensive. Any small damage to the blinds will result in costly maintenance.

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:13 p.m.

    Thank you for showing interest in our idea. Your concern is one that can be addressed with the proper research. The machinery to detect humans in the vicinity and adjust the blinds is relatively inexpensive. In our cost estimates, a simple motion sensor and motor to adjust the blinds are less than ten dollars. The blinds are shaped as honeycombs, so no adjustments of slats are needed, but just the folding up or lowering of blinds. The chance of damage, which in itself is improbable, will not result in any costly maintenance. The flexible manner of the blinds along with the simple motion sensor create a system in which it is unlikely that damage can occur, but if damage does happen to occur then our research shows that there would not be costly maintenance needed. In addition, the honeycomb design of the blinds itself insulates the household well to save a lot of money. The benefits of the design allow for the energy savings that outweigh the costs. Annually, houses with an average of 10 units of the blinds will be able to save roughly $500, meaning that the initial cost of the blinds is payed for in no time. There is also a one-time $500 tax credit provided to homeowners with such insulating blinds. The blinds then allow for continued energy savings and a clean way to insulate and power the home.
    Again, thank you for your time,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Small default profile

    Richard Zhu

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 05:31 p.m.

    I vote for solar blinds.

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:27 p.m.

    Thank you so much for taking time to comment and look through our project!

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    June 8, 2015 | 06:44 p.m.

    More and more people are using solar panels to power their homes. In fact, my family has just recently installed a large system with 48 panels that is sufficient to cover the cost of our entire electricity bill. There are also many models of insulating blinds that are being released incorporating the same honeycomb design. Could solar panel systems and insulating blinds (without automation) be used in combination to achieve the same effect as your design? How cost effective is your innovation? Is most of the energy wasted from air conditioning a result of poor blinds or windows? Could the windows be innovated instead of the blinds to decrease the amount of energy expenditure?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:14 p.m.

    Thank you for taking the time to browse our presentation and submit a question. Yes, these blinds are just the combination of those ideas, but all in blinds. However, installing a large system of solar panels can be very costly, in addition to incorporating several honeycomb shades into the household. We estimate our innovation to be around $130, which is well within the range of several high quality honeycomb design blinds on the market today. In addition to the $500 tax credit that is available for installing insulating honeycomb design blinds, if installed throughout the house (assuming 10 windows, all 2 feet by 5 feet), you can save more than $500 annually from capturing energy and using less air conditioning. In about three years, the blinds will end up paying for its own cost, as well as saving half the electricity bill! You raise a good point about poor construction of windows, as most energy is wasted because of the windows. However, the replacement of windows tend to require a lot of money, for the windows, as well as the manual labor. Using blinds is a good option for several other reasons such as aesthetic appeal and privacy. Furthermore, these estimated prices for the blinds will definitely decrease overtime if widely implemented. Their functionality will also improve with the use of more flexible and efficient solar cells. We hope this answers your questions!
    Best Regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Icon for: Callie Cook

    Callie Cook

    June 8, 2015 | 07:16 p.m.

    An alternative way to save wasted energy is to install double-glazed windows. By having two panes of glass, the air in between the two panes act as an insulating boundary between the cold outdoor air and your heated indoor air. This is a proven method that Americans have been using for decades. Why would a consumer decide to use your product over the double-glazed window? How much do you predict one solar blind will cost? Can you predict how much money this solar blind will save a household annually?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 9, 2015 | 08:15 p.m.

    First off, we’d like to thank you for taking time out of your day to browse our submission. Installing double-glazed windows is definitely another great way to save wasted energy, but there are some issues with this method. Double-glazed windows are traditionally more expensive, ranging from around $800 per square meter to buy and install. Our blinds not only insulate, but also provide privacy and aesthetic appeal to the home. The capabilities of the blinds also allow for automatic internal lighting paired with energy efficiency through solar power. The strips of polycrystalline silicon is able to convert the solar rays into power usable throughout the home as well, a characteristic not found in double-glazed windows. As mentioned in our video, the price of the blinds is estimated at roughly $130, but this cost is quickly outweighed by the estimated $500 in annual savings for a house, assuming 10 windows per house. There is also a $500 tax credit for insulating blinds such as these. So in a few years, you would end up saving about more than half of your monthly electricity bill, based on the average cost of electricity per kilowatt hour! In addition, with more people implementing this idea at home, the prices of the blinds will gradually decrease as well. There are also many organizations researching for cheaper, and more efficient solar cells, that in the future could definitely be useful for improving our idea!
    Best regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

  • Small default profile

    Rudy chow

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 08:53 p.m.

    great idea, I vote for solar blinds.

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:26 p.m.

    Thanks for taking time to comment and look through our project!

  • Small default profile

    Joanne Li

    Guest
    June 8, 2015 | 10:02 p.m.

    I vote for solar blinds.

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:26 p.m.

    We appreciate your support!

  • Small default profile

    Q. Pan

    Guest
    June 9, 2015 | 02:06 p.m.

    Great idea. I will definitely buy your solar blinds if it is in market and if it is not to heavy.

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:26 p.m.

    We appreciate your critique and valued time spent on our submission. Thanks!

  • Small default profile

    Alice Liao

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 03:27 p.m.

    This is brilliant, and I love the aesthetics of the idea

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:28 p.m.

    Thank you so much for your support Alice!

  • Small default profile

    Samantha Miller

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 06:13 p.m.

    This is a good idea

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:25 p.m.

    On behalf of PHS Greenbeans, we’d like to thank you for your valued time and support!

  • Small default profile

    Benjamin Tang

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 08:58 p.m.

    I vote for solor blinds.

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 10, 2015 | 10:25 p.m.

    We appreciate your interest in our submission. Thank you!

  • Small default profile

    Jonathan Fritz

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 12:58 a.m.

    This is a great idea, thoughtfully presented and researched! I vote for your solar blinds which present a blinding truth – that small, effective green changes can have big effects on our planet’s health and our survival. Several comments: (1) Would blinds be installed by the homeowner or by specialized installers who could make sure that the blinds were flush with the windows? (2) How would homeowners know when to replace them? (how would they measure degradation vs effectivenss of the wrapable solar panels on the blinds? and the insulation quality of the blinds (what happens if there is damage or perforation?) (3) How do you avoid wasting energy with blinds going up and down whenever a pet dog or cat walks into the room, or a little child runs in and out? Perhaps there should be a manual over-ride setting for the motion detectors for situations like this (4) the authors say in their presentation that 40% of energy consumption goes into heating or cooling our houses – how much would this change with the introduction of the blinds? I would like to see a computation of this – my guess is that it would reduce to only 38-39% – this incremental step may be very good, but probably needs to be one of multiple steps – like using an infrared analysis of energy loss from the building, and correcting where needed. This would probably include better windows as indicated by comments from others. (5) It would also include building houses with thicker walls, perhaps structures partly sunk in the earth, houses with better tree and shrub landscaping around the perimeter to mitigate wind and sunshine. But all in all, I think your solution is practical and imaginative. Congratulations!

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 09:37 p.m.

    Thank you for your support and comments! You pose some very detailed and interesting comments we have yet to consider. To answer your comments:
    (1) Ideally, these blinds should be installed by the homeowner like any other set of blinds, since the overall structure is the same. There will be a headrail which will contain an electronics pack protected by hard plastic. The headrail holds the blinds, so all the installation needed would be for the sidetracks, the mounting brackets, the headrail containing the blinds, and the motion sensor. Regarding whether the blinds will flush with the windows or not, there will definitely be different sizes of the blinds for different types of windows. With enough care, the homeowner could install the blind system themselves.
    (2) A multimeter could be used to measure the effectiveness of solar panels, however they tend to be expensive. The efficiency of a solar panel degrades about 0.5% every year. Usually manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty, that states that the output of a solar panel should not be less than 80% after 25 years. Even after 25 years, the solar panels will continue to collect energy, but with less efficiency 1. This could be tested by the homeowner themselves by observing the amount of time taken to fully charge the internal battery contained with the blinds. The insulating shape of the blinds alone would also save a lot of energy by reducing the need for air conditioning throughout the seasons. As for damage, the automatic feature of the blinds reduce the need for the humans handling that could potentially damage the blinds. The flexible fabric of the blinds will also reduce the chances of detrimental damage. If damage were to incur on the blinds that would break the solar cells or destroy the shape of the blinds, replacements would be suggested. However to reduce the breaking of the solar cells, we have researched about reusing broken solar cells. By connecting various pieces of solar cells, the blinds would be more flexible and less susceptible to damage 2.
    (3) It is definitely true that a lot of energy can be wasted in a house with pets, children, or just busy people. To tackle this problem, there could be an over-ride option like you mentioned. Additionally, the blinds could be schedule controlled (like for air conditioning), that could set when the sensor is active and inactive that can be controlled by the user. However, the automatic feature of the blinds was mainly designed to increase convenience for busy people at home, and to allow for maximum energy efficiency for homeowners who might forget to close their blinds when leaving the room.
    (4) From our calculations, based on a double glazed window with a distance of 30-60 millimeters between glasses, the U value would be 2.8 W/m^2K 3 (u value indicates that for every degree that is colder on the outside than the inside, 1 square foot of the window loses 2.8 watts of energy). The wall area we are using covers an area of 0.9 m^2 (2 feet by 5 feet). If the window was set in the winter, with about a temperature difference of 22 degrees Celsius, 55.44 watts are lost through the windows. With blinds, however, using similar methods (combining the R-values of the air between the window and blinds, and the honeycomb blinds 4) to calculate the energy lost, we computed that 12.3 watts would be lost through the windows. With these blinds, about 78% of the original amount of energy lost is saved compared to having no blinds! Although we do not have the exact percentage of how much energy from air conditioning could be saved, air conditioning could be reduced immensely, or be even left turned off, when using the blinds. Yes, it would be very effective to see where in the building the most energy is lost, and replacing the windows as well, however our blinds provide a cheaper and easier method to mitigate the energy loss. Also it provides an aesthetic appeal, as well as privacy to the building as opposed to just replacing windows.
    (5) All these options are definitely steps to help mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases! However, this solution is one of the cheapest and easiest solutions to implement.

    Thank you for careful, detailed comments!
    PHS Greenbeans

    References:
    1. Monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar cells:
    http://www.civicsolar.com/resource/monocrystall...
    2. Broken solar cells: http://sinovoltaics.com/solar-cells/wanted-brok...
    3. Window U values and equation:
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/heat-loss-tra...
    4. Window blinds R values: http://www.levolor.com/support/kb/article/363/w...

  • Small default profile

    Yan Lan

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 09:18 a.m.

    I vote for insulating solar blinds. Earth needs to be protected by those environmental harm and switching normal blinds with insulating solar blinds is a great creative idea. I do have a question though. You said that the insulating solar blinds can cost up to 6 times as much as the ordinary blinds. How long does it take to recover the extra cost?

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:38 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest! Yes, these blinds tend to be on the expensive side. However there are blinds that are in this price range. In a household, assuming there are 10 windows (2 feet by 5 feet) in the house, the price would be recovered in around three years, (2 years if you apply the tax credit). For the following years, we estimate about half of the current electricity bill to be saved every month (assuming 12 cents per kilowatt hour)! Additionally, if these blinds were to be widely implemented, the prices should definitely go down.
    Best Regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

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    Yue Sun

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 10:06 a.m.

    Very nice presentation! I vote for this idea. Questions – have you thought about the energy usage while producing those insulating solar blinds? Could this product be made of recycled materials?

  • Icon for: Caroline Leng

    Caroline Leng

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 04:57 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment and support! Those are very interesting points that we had not thought about. After further investigation, some scientists have conducted research on the impact of blinds on the creation/reduction of greenhouse gases. Since blinds do not produce greenhouse gases during use, most greenhouse gases produced because of blinds are during manufacture and transport of the blinds themselves. If these blinds were to be manufactured, we could look in to efficient packaging methods and clean energy usage in the manufacturing process. In fact, this study suggests that over the product lifetime blinds actually reduce GHG emissions by lowering CO2 emissions from energy used to heat and cool a household.
    Addressing your second question, the material of the blinds itself could definitely be made of recycled materials, as well as the plastics in the headrail and sidetracks, which is more eco-friendly! We have also found that broken solar cells can be reused as well, which would be more economical and eco-friendly, though the blinds may be less aesthetically appealing. To balance both consumer appeal and economic/environmental practicality, salvageable solar panels could be reused, or broken ones could be puzzled together, connected by fine wires to form a quirky mosaic that may be suitable for some interior designs.
    Best Regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

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    changhui li

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 12:16 p.m.

    This is a wonderful idea which takes small to accomplish something huge, with Mother Nature sustainability in mind. Beautiful presentation, concise but delivered enough detail with soul.

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:36 p.m.

    Thank you for your compliments and support!

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    Guifeng Zhang

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 12:29 p.m.

    I vote for solar blinds

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:35 p.m.

    Thank you so much for your support!

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    Mei Chen

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 04:25 p.m.

    I vote for solar blinds

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:34 p.m.

    Thank you!

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    Ronald O'Connor

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:40 p.m.

    The cost of the solar blinds does not seem to be offset by the energy savings. The mechanisms to recognize the presence of humans in the room and to adjust the blinds accordingly will probably be expensive. Also, the blinds will pose the issue of delicacy. Any small damage will may result in costly maintenance.

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:34 p.m.

    Thank you for taking time out of your day to browse through our submission. Your concerns, although honorable, are those that we can address with some research. The machinery to detect humans in the vicinity and adjust the blinds is relatively inexpensive. In our cost estimates, a simple motion sensor and servo motor to adjust the blinds are less than ten dollars. The chance of damage, although possible, will not result in any costly maintenance. The flexible manner of the blinds reduce the probability of damage. Polyester, the material of our double honeycomb blinds, a synthetic material, is extremely durable and retains its shape. The automatic movement of these blinds also reduces possible human contact, thus reducing the infinitesimally small chance that the blinds could be damaged from human manipulation. Our sidetracks and head rail holding the electronics will be made of hard plastics as well. In addition, the double honeycomb design of the blinds itself insulates the household well to save a lot of money. Not only do the blinds insulate, but they also generate energy. The polycrystalline silicon we plan to incorporate in the blinds comes in standard panels of 156 mm by 156 mm. At 19.4% efficiency, each panel alone is able to output power at 4.98 Watts. This converts to roughly 19 Watts per square foot. Standard window sizes are approximately 2 feet by 5 feet, with the polycrystalline silicon on the blinds covering roughly 10 square feet of area. This means that for the standard window, 190 Watts are produced, leading to 1.140 kilowatt hours by accounting for 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. With an average of 10 windows per house, 11.4 kilowatt hours are saved per day, translating to savings of more than $500 annually (including the money saved for insulating the house). Additionally, tax credits can be applied for from the IRS, so the cost of these solar blinds will be returned in 2-3 years. The blinds then allow for continued energy savings and a clean way to insulate and power the home.
    Best regards,
    PHS Greenbeans

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    Mei Chen

    Guest
    June 11, 2015 | 05:42 p.m.

    I vote for solar blinds

  • Icon for: Jessica Yin

    Jessica Yin

    Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 06:34 p.m.

    Thank you for your support!

  • Small default profile

    wenping li

    Guest
    June 12, 2015 | 08:07 a.m.

    great idea, I vote for solar blinds

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

  1. Jessica Yin
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Greenbeans
  1. Karan Chawla
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Greenbeans
  1. Matthew Feng
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Greenbeans
  1. Caroline Leng
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Greenbeans
Best
Critic
Public
Choice

Insulating Solar Blinds

Climate change is a salient issue with no dominant solution, and its effects have vast implications in the present and future. One route to address climate change is through methods of mitigation, whose implementation serves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is one primary factor that contributes to climate change. However, these methods must be innovative and practical to create real change. One method that addresses these necessities is the creation of insulating blinds for households. The current state of household insulation is imperfect, as almost 25% of energy is wasted through windows. One factor that mitigates heat loss is a fabric with a higher resistance to heat flow. Effective blinds must disrupt the convection current between the internal and external environment, yet be visually appealing and consumer-friendly. An elegant double honeycomb design of colored semi-opaque polyester would be ideal, as air pockets both within the polyester and the larger honeycombs offer insulation, and sidetracks would seal the outside environment from the household to reduce energy consumption. Attaching flexible solar cells with this design to harvest energy from incoming solar rays will also help to mitigate household energy consumption. Additionally, the blinds will be automatic, opening when the room is occupied. This newer piece of household technology can be eye-catching to consumers, and the price of buying new blinds would be recompensed by the energy savings. The innovation of this design is rooted in its practicality in the household. With it, entire communities can significantly reduce their harmful environmental footprint.