UrbanTile: Concept Design for Sustainable Energy Inspires

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UrbanTile is an exciting concept piece for sustainable energy use

Look carefully and begin counting the hundreds of types of energy that pass by every day, never captured and never used. Put these observational challenges before students and amazing results can sometimes occur.

Case in point: Meidad Marzan, an industrial design student from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel, has designed a remarkable concept device called the UrbanTile that would harness the solar energy city buildings absorb during the day for their lighting needs at night.

UrbanTile was Merzan’s graduation project for his course in the Industrial Design Dept. at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem

The UrbanTile is a small solar panel that can be flipped to reveal a light-emitting screen. Banded together into rows, the panels become a window blind that forms a light or an entertainment display.

The panels could be made from aluminum and stainless steel, featuring an OLED screen on one side and photovoltaic panel on the other. Incorporating electrical motors to move them, they could be programmed to turn automatically at different times of the day. Designed to be mounted into windows, the panels could be turned to rest at various angles allowing light in during the day whilst absorbing solar energy.

In the evening, the OLED screens would be turned to face indoors to light up rooms and also provide a bank of screens for media playback. At night, the light emitting side could also be turned outwards to produce engaging patterns of light (SEE THE VIDEO) on the sides of buildings.

According to gizmag, the thinness and brightness of OLED screens, along with their low power consumption and brilliant color reproduction would make them a good fit for this kind of display technology.

The video below shows examples of how large scale uses of the UrbanTile on the sides of buildings might look. The servo motors turn the panels into different formations like a fluid canvas of light. Other uses would be for the display of messages, images and video for advertising purposes.

Concept pieces such as this that explore renewable and sustainable energy solutions should be endlessly encouraged, and funded, if possible, providing either grant money, scholarships, or meaningful internships. In the end, we all come out winners.


Photo: shannonkringen

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Glenn Meyers

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

Glenn Meyers has 449 posts and counting. See all posts by Glenn Meyers