What if your window was an outlet? That is exactly the premise for a newly invented solar-powered plug designed and fabricated by Yanko Design. We all know the sunlight can be converted to energy, so this outlet works by directly connecting to that idea. This little device has a suction and a solar panel on one side so that it can be attached to any window, whether you are in a building, your home, or your car and collect all the sunlight it needs to power. The other side of the device has an outlet for you to insert a plug or a charger. This invention is really exploiting the idea that our natural surroundings and resources can be used for everyday human needs. It is especially useful for people on the go (hiking, camping, at a restaurant etc) with little access to an indoor outlet and have a dying cellphone. It functions as a carry-around device too. Charge up this plug during the day for 8 hours, then throw it in your purse or pocket and get up to 10 hours of charging time later. This is helpful for those times when your charger doesn’t quite reach the nearest outlet in a public place. What to do when that 10 hours is up? Just stick it right back on the window to recharge!
This device is incredibly beneficial in reducing electricity usage and cost. According to the US Department of Energy, the average electricity consumption in the year 2013 for a U.S. home was a total of 10,908 kilowatthours, which is an average of 909 kWh per month. The most electricity use comes from residential housing, with commercial and industrial following close behind. Within the residence, the most common uses for electricity are air conditioning and lighting. This electricity use is detrimental to the environment because it is being extracted from fossil fuel resources such as coal, natural gas, and oil. These are non-renewable, therefore electricity use slowly diminishes these materials.
But wait, the sun IS renewable! So here’s an idea. What if the lights that we use in our house are powered by the sun instead of fossil fuels? Instead of plugging a lamp into a wall outlet, why not use these window outlets? They can charge by sunlight during the day, then once your home is dark you can plug them right into the solar-powered outlet. Or if you have a lamp near a window, you can even plug it in and turn it on during the day, without wasting any electricity! I don’t know about you, but I really think this is a fantastic invention that could take us very far in non-renewable electricity reduction. Not only does it reduce electricity, but it saves a ton of money! Last time I checked, the sun was free. This is really a no-brainer.
Right now, this is still a developing product, and can’t be used to charge major electronic devices, however it is a great first step for the future of electricity usage. Maybe in the future this technology can be implemented to power and entire house, commercial building, or larger. I am definitely hopeful.
To all your engineers, entrepreneurs, or sustainability enthusiasts out there, I hope you find this inspirational!