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A novel sun-powered smart window blind (SPSWB) system has been designed and developed for the smart control of building envelopes to achieve the optimal internal comfort with minimum energy expenditure. Its self-powered sensing, controlling, and actuation significantly simplify the installation and maintenance of the system. The energy is harvested by the attached thin-film photovoltaic cells, after which it is voltage-regulated for the permanent storage into a rechargeable battery with 55% energy efficiency. The excessive heat absorbed by the solar cells is dissipated by a PVdF-HFP porous coating with more than 9% temperature reduction. The smart control of the energy harvesting and the cooling is achieved based on the blinds’ surface temperature by an Arduino-based sensing, controlling, and actuating system, whose energy consumption is closely monitored. The energy equilibrium analysis is proposed for the self-powered design in any locations, and the optimal solar energy harvesting can be achieved by the proper adjustments of the window blinds angle with respect to the geographical location. The abundant energy that can be harvested validates the feasibility and the robustness of the system and proves its wide application potentials to the next generation of smart building envelope systems.

Available for download on Thursday, September 15, 2022