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Brief Published: 5 Nov 2012

Marjan van Aubel: Energy Collection


The Energy Collection, the latest project by Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel, explores the idea of everyday objects being able to collect and store electrical energy. Each glass vessel in the collection contains a photovoltaic layer with a dye-synthesised solar cell, allowing the vessel to harvest energy from light. 

The cabinet in the Energy Collection works as a battery. When the glassware is placed inside, the energy it collects can be converted into electrical current and used to power small appliances such as phone chargers or lamps. The glassware can absorb sunlight and diffused light, making the objects suitable for use indoors.

The technology was invented by Michael Graetzel at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. It is based on the natural photosynthesis process found in plants. Different coloured dyes, made from various plants and fruits, provide different wavelengths and currents. 

See Stylus' Dutch Design Week: Colour & Materials report for more infomation.

Marjan van Aubel

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