Engineering student Carvey Ehren Maigue has been named the James Dyson Awards first-ever global sustainability winner for his AuReus system, in which waste crops are turned into cladding that can generate clean energy from ultraviolet light . Unlike traditional solar panels , which only work in clear conditions and must face the sun directly because they rely on visible light, the translucent AuReus material is able to harvest power from invisible UV rays that pass through clouds. As a result, it is able to produce energy close to 50 per cent of the time according to preliminary testing, compared to 15 to 22 per cent in standard solar panels. When applied as a kind of fluorescent covering to windows or facades, AuReus can capture UV rays bouncing off of pavements and the surrounding architecture, turning entire buildings into vertical solar farms. This maximises the amount of energy that can be generated. AuReus takes its name from the aurora borealis and is inspired by the physics that power the northern lights. Luminescent particles in the atmosphere absorb high energy particles like ultraviolet or gamma rays, before degrading and reemitting them as visible light. Similarly, Maigue’s system uses luminescent particles derived […]

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