About this project
SolarGaps | Photovoltaic Solar Panel Window Blinds
Reduce your apartment, home and/or business electricity bill by up to 70% with solar energy generating smart blinds.
SolarGaps smart blinds automatically track the sun throughout the day, adjusting position to the optimal angles to generate solar electricity to power devices in your home, apartment or office.
We engineered SolarGaps with features designed for renters, homeowners and small businesses to affordably reduce energy usage, create renewable energy and transition to energy independence:
- DIY PLUG & PLAY - With apartment renters in mind, the interior wall brackets are designed as a non-permanent, plug & play solution with additional installation options for homeowners to maximize energy production.
- ENERGY GENERATING - Built-in solar panels can generate up to 100W-150W of renewable energy per 10 sq. ft. (≈ 1 m2) of a window, enough to power 30 LED light bulbs or three MacBooks.
- ENERGY REDUCING - In addition to generating solar energy, the window blinds also save energy by shading your home interior and reducing air condition cost by up to 80%.
- AFFORDABLE - Energy surplus can either be stored in the battery or can easily be sold to your electricity company as green energy through a two-way meter they provide.
- SMART FEATURES - Easily integrate with smart devices like Google Home, Echo, Nest Thermostat and more to control by voice, temperature and/or smartphone app.
The obvious solution for those who can't (renters) or don't want to install expensive rooftop solar panels.
Check out the 30 second video above to see a quick overview of how SolarGaps works.
Have a look at some recent press and media reviews of the SolarGaps smart window shades:
"One of those ideas that seems so obvious after you hear about it, because even 'dumb' window blinds can save a significant amount of energy" -TREEHUGGER
"Solargaps have created their smart solar blinds to open the window to green energy for anyone and everyone" - DESIGNBOOM
"If you are looking for relief from the heat and from a high electricity bill, this may just be the product for you" - DIGITAL TRENDS
"SolarGaps actually has a shippable product ready with only a few differences from the final product they are promising if the campaign is successful" - ANDROID AND ME
"On display here at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, SolarGaps turns the actual slats of your window coverings into solar panels" - CNET
"Your windows become powerful with SolarGaps." - Techcrunch
They're designed to look like traditional window blinds but they're smart and covered with photovoltaic modules.
SolarGaps are the world’s first renewable energy producing window blinds that use solar panels to create electricity to power your apartment, home or office.
By replacing your current window treatments with solar energy producing window shades, you can save up to 70% on your electric power bill allowing the SolarGaps to essentially pay for themselves over time.
Yevgen Erik (founder) was in charge of building eco-friendly houses and installing blinds in office buildings when the idea of solar blinds came to him.
- "I spent one day in the fields outside of the city studying how the sunflowers followed the sun...then, I carried out research which proved that although solar modules are the cheapest among all other sources of energy, they are the most effective ones" ~ Yevgen Erik
After researching the sun-tracking characteristics of the sunflower plant, Yevgen then experimented with ways to replicate the self-adjusting movements automatically in his blinds.
Not sure what perk is right for you? Check out these tables.
The photovoltaic cells generate electricity to power devices, store in a battery and/or sell to your electricity company.
Photovoltaic systems produce the most power during the day when the demand and price for electricity is higher.
Once installed over a window (inside or outside), the smart blinds with built-in solar panels can generate up to 100W of energy per 10 sq. ft. (≈ 1 m2) of a window, which is enough to power 30 LED light bulbs or three MacBooks.
- For example, a three-room apartment with windows facing south will be able to produce up to 600 watt-hours or about 4 kilowatts per day. In an office or retail space, you can generate up to 10 times more.
Will you consume, store, or sell your power?
Any energy surplus that's generated can either be stored in a battery or sold to the utility grid allowing you to take advantage of peak loads and daily fluctuations in electricity usage.
- Consume Energy - The included SolarGaps dock that allows you to charge and power devices within your home or office.
- Battery Storage - By storing surplus energy in a battery, you can reduce your energy bill by consuming stored energy during peak hours when rates are higher.
- Sell To Grid - With a two-way meter from your utility company, you can sell your surplus energy by supplying it to the power grid during the day when the demand and price is higher.
Intelligently designed window blinds that make your smart home even smarter.
SolarGaps is a part of ecosystem of IoT smart home devices allowing it to be controlled remotely, automatically, manually and more.
Automatic & Self-Adjusting
To absorb as much solar energy as possible, SolarGaps automatically adjusts the angle of the panels to follow the sun’s position.
- You can setup SolarGaps to match your own schedule and needs. For example, the blinds can be setup to open automatically when you want to wake up, or close at a predetermined time.
- SolarGaps can even open automatically when someone enters a room to keep your house bright inside.
iOS and Android App
Open and close your blinds remotely from anywhere in the world allowing you to ensure privacy, protect from weather and/or create automations.
- With the internet connected app, SolarGaps can utilize information such as weather forecast to generate energy more efficiently.
- SolarGaps connects to our app via WiFi or Bluetooth allowing for basic controls to raise or lower the blinds, change the angle, and display how much energy is being generated.
Internet of Things
With the SolarGaps app you can integrate directly with Google Home to enable voice controlled commands to open, close, etc.
- Additional IoT integrations with smart devices like Ecobee, SmartThings, Philips Hue, etc could be potentials 'stretch goals' based on your feedback, funding levels and demand.
- SolarGaps integrates with Google Home and Amazon Echo to enable voice controlled commands, as well as Nest Thermostat to allow your blinds to adjust lighting to heat or cool your home naturally.
Install SolarGaps inside or outside, the choice is yours.
Simply mount SolarGaps on the wall over your window using the brackets provided or install them on the outside of your home.
Then plug SolarGaps into a power outlet and lower your energy bills by feeding electricity back to the grid. Any energy surplus can either be stored in batteries or be sold to your power utility.
- DIY installation - You can install SolarBlinds yourself by following our simple instructions. Just mount SolarGaps on the wall over your window using the brackets provided. We recommend you install SolarGaps outside for better efficiency (up to 100-150 Wh in an hour per 10 sq. ft.). When installed inside, the amount of power generation is reduced.
- Durable - The outer shell of SolarGaps is made out of a very strong and durable aluminum. Tested with an air gun, SolarGaps is unmatched on the market today when it comes to protecting your windows from poor weather conditions (e.g. storms, etc.). Built for all climates, SolarGaps can operate perfectly in the wide range of temperatures – between -40 and + 176 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 and +80 degrees Celsius).
- Warranty - SolarGaps uses durable, high quality solar cells made in the USA by SunPower. A 25-year lifespan of solar cells makes SolarGaps the best value on the market today.
- Custom - designed to fit a broad range of windows. We have a variety of sizes ranging from Extra Small to Extra Large. If you're interested in custom sizing, send us a message! We're here to cater to your specific needs.
Blind type: Horizontal, multi-slat
Max width: 8ft (2.5m)
Min width: 24in (60cm)
Max height: 13ft (4m)
Min height: 24in (60cm)
Depth: 3in (8cm)
Weight: 20 lbs per 10 sq.ft. (8kg per 1 m2 )
Number of slats per 3ft (1m) of length: 12
Materials: Aluminum, fiberglass
Solar cells: SunPower monocrystalline cells
Motor: One AC motor for height and angle adjustment (torque: 8N/m)
External control module: Indoor/outdoor (IP65)
External inverter with MPPT: Indoor/outdoor (IP65); input: 24-45V DC; output: 110V AC pure sine
Power supply: 110 / 220 /230 V AC, 60 / 50 Hz
Communications: WiFi (Bluetooth in evaluation samples)
Micro-controller: ARM Cortex M3 (STM 32F103)
Radios: WiFi b/g/n 2.4GHz (ESP 8285)
Sensors: Motion, temperature, ambient light
App: iOS and Android versions available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store
Installation: DIY or through a recommended partner
Limited Warranty: 5 years
The hard part is complete, we just need your support.
It started with a passion for green energy.
The idea of combining solar panels and motorized blinds was born when the SolarGaps founder, Yevgen Erik, was in charge of building eco-friendly houses and installing blinds in office buildings during the many years he worked in the construction industry.
This idea consumed Yevgen so much that he spent a day in the fields outside the city studying how sunflowers follow the sun. He then carried out research about solar power which proved that modern solar panels, while being the most efficient among alternative power sources, are also the cheapest. This brought him to the conclusion that the best time to launch SolarGaps is now.
Today billions of city residents never have the opportunity to use solar power because they live in apartments with no roof access to install solar panels. Yet, the majority of them have windows which can be used to generate electricity and save energy. SolarGaps provides them with such an opportunity.
No matter if you live in a house or an apartment, SolarGaps opens your windows (pun intended) to green energy. With this distributed approach to power generation, we can fight global warming and fulfill the dream of many -- to live comfortably and be energy independent anywhere.
With SolarGaps, we can create a point-to-point electrical network, since personal power generation can be available to billions of people. Some people might prefer to store the electricity produced by SolarGaps using batteries like Tesla’s Powerwall and sell electricity to others at night.
SolarGaps is the brainchild of a team led by Yevgen Erik, a Ukrainian inventor who is passionate about green energy.
Risks and challenges
1) Production time will vary slightly based on the level of customization required by our Kickstarter bakers.
2) Since SolarGaps is the first product of its kind on the market, we might run into some unexpected regulatory hurdles which might need to be addressed.
3) Communication with individual customers is going to be time-consuming. We will do our best to be as efficient as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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