Somfy Introduces Solar Powered Shades

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Somfy Systems is a motorized window treatment company. It offers mechanical window shades that cover windows to block sunlight out of houses when it is hot and unblock them when the weather is cool. Such technology is nothing new. But Somfy Systems is now offering a solar-powered version.

By covering windows in the day, window shades can reduce cooling demand on air conditioners. Such simple energy efficiency measures go a long way in solving our greenhouse gas emissions and pollution problems.

The solar panels for these shades generate DC (direct current) power, which charges NiMH (Nickel Metal-Hydride) batteries, which then power the window shades.

The cost of the product is $220 and it is compatible with all WireFree motors. The product includes the WireFree solar panel (photovoltaic), NiMH batteries, a battery tube, Y harness, and, of course, the window shades.

Other Important Notes about Keeping Cool without Air Conditioning

When writing articles or telling people how to keep cooler without air conditioning, I emphasize the importance and efficacy of blocking out sunlight, even just partially. These shades are just a more convenient way to block it out than traditional methods.

The sun still heats the roof and walls, though. The heat absorbed from the sun by the walls and roof are then re-radiated into the house. As you may already know, sunlight passes through windows readily and some of it turns into heat when it reaches surfaces, especially if they are dark/non-reflective. After this process, the resulting heat exits the house much more slowly than it entered. This is one reason why ventilation is beneficial. It literally extracts hot air from buildings. So, aside from blocking out the sun, make sure your house is well-ventilated to cut down on your air conditioning bill or not have one at all.

Photo Credit: janineomg


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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

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