Progress towards greener energy sources continues, and this time, the main source of energy is a combination of plants.

Image from, comparison between Aureus and traditional solar panel


Nature is action-packed with resources we can use as energy, and researchers around the world are always looking for ways to exploit them further. One such researcher is Carvey Ehren Maigue, a 27-year old student of Mapua University in the Philippines. Carvey invented a source of energy using rotten fruits and vegetables, which earned him the James Dyson award. The rotting mix would absorb the sun’s UV light and convert it into energy.


Named Aureus, the device is a form of solar panel made with crop waste, but contrary to solar panels, Aureus doesn’t need to be on the rooftop to collect sunlight. Aureus is composed of 2 devices: the Borealis Solar Window and the Astralis Solar panel; together, they collect and transform light the same way auroras (northern and southern lights) are formed, and the Aureus can be hung on windows and walls; it can even collect sun rays on a cloudy day and from other surfaces. Aureus also solves the issue of food waste by upcycling the harvest that would have gone to waste. Carvey confessed that he doubted his own idea for a long time but winning the James Dyson award marked the end of his self-doubt and the beginning of a new journey. With the £30,000 cash prize, Carvey can continue improving his invention and create the renewable energy he dreams of.


The other winner of the awards is a 23-year old student, Judit Giro Benet, from the University of California for her at-home mammogram screening, Blue Box, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze urine. Before that, Judit had studied whether dogs could help detect cancer just by sniffing the patient’s breath. Carvey and Judit are just 2 examples of the numerous students and graduates from the fields of product design, industrial design and engineering who have been awarded the James Dyson award throughout its 15 years of existence for their creative design solutions to worldwide issues. This year’s runners up were a group of master students from London who presented an environmentally friendly solution to tire wear and tear and a group of students from Canada who introduced a new type of lens that uses liquid crystal to produce high-quality zoomed-in pictures.


Overall, awards like the James Dyson encourage innovation and tell us that the future is brighter than we think. You can watch, or read, the interview with Carvey after the jump.


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