Photo voltaic Panels Made From Meals Waste

University student wins award for solar panels made from food waste.

Are you a fan of sustainable / renewable energy? Think windmills, hydropower, and solar panels. The latter is becoming increasingly popular in large cities, especially in places where the climate mostly allows sunny days.

However, the downside to traditional solar panels (besides the ridiculously high prices to install them) is that they rely on the sun to shine often / long enough to charge them. That is why they are eventually called solar panels. While the benefits of solar power far outweigh the financial risk – if you have them, you will save a lot of energy costs – if you live in an area that is not very sunny or in a location that is badly affected by climate change you need an alternative.

Enter engineering student Carvey Ehren Maigue from Mapua University in Manila, Philippines. He is the first winner of the new James Dyson Sustainability Award for his invention: High-flyer made from waste plants. The modules, known as the AuReus system (named after Aurora Borealis), are translucent and work with ultraviolet (UV) light, unlike normal solar modules that are based on visible light. In other words, they give you strength even when it’s cloudy!

Not only are these new solar panels made from recycled material, but tests have shown that they can produce energy in half the time! Regular solar panels can only produce 15 to 22 percent of the time. Sustainable and even more efficient!


During the manufacture of the panels, luminescent particles are removed from agricultural waste. This is done by squeezing fruits and vegetables and soaking, distilling or filtering the juices. The particles are placed in resin and then molded into panels that can be attached to windows or walls.

Man hanging colored chalkboard in the window


The panels don’t just absorb UV light from the sky. You can also pick it up from the sun’s reflection on the sidewalk or in nearby buildings.

The special thing about these solar modules is where the materials come from. The waste crops used in the manufacturing process come from local farmers who are particularly affected by climate change. Using waste crops gives farmers the opportunity to make money on their unused supplies. The way the modules are made also makes them compatible with regular solar panels, so you have the option to use both!

Eventually, Maigue hopes to use the same raw materials that the panels were made from to make threads for fabric and curved plates for cars and planes. We hope that his idea will be internationally well received to become reality.

The James Dyson Awards give prizes for innovation in design. Further information on the awards and information on the other winners can be found here.

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