Filipino wins sustainability award for solar panel made from waste crop

Carvey Ehren Maigue, a 27-year-old, electrical engineering student from Mapua University, bagged the first-ever global sustainability prize at the James Dyson Award for his invention on Thursday, November 19.

Called the AuREUS system, the new material, derived from rotting fruits and vegetables, absorbs UV light from the sun and converts it to electricity. The system can be used for windows and walls of buildings, tapping it to become sources of renewable energy. 

Maigue said that he got inspiration from the auroras and polar lights for the science behind his invention. 

Out of 1,800 entries worldwide, Maigue’s AuREUS system was handpicked by inventor James Dyson himself to win the award. 

“AuREUS is impressive in the way it makes sustainable use of waste crops, but I’m particularly impressed by Carvey’s resolve and determination,” Dyson said. 

“As a farmer, I have always been concerned about covering fertile, food-producing, agricultural land in photovoltaic cells. Carvey’s invention demonstrates a convincing way to create clean energy on existing structures, like windows, within cities,” he added.

AUREUS. Maigue looks at the new material made from spoiled crops. Screenshot from Dyson video

Screenshot from Dyson video

Maigue also received £30,000 as part of his prize. 

“Winning the James Dyson Award is both a beginning and an end. It marked the end of years of doubting whether my idea would find global relevance. It marks the beginning of the journey of finally bringing AuREUS to the world,” said Maigue.

“I want to create a better form of renewable energy that uses the world’s natural resources, is close to people's lives, forging achievable paths and rallying towards a sustainable and regenerative future.”

Maigue has an interview over at the Dyson site, and a video showcasing his invention.

The James Dyson Awards is an international design award that celebrates the inventions of the next generation of engineers. – Rappler.com