This clever fabric harnesses the energy of the sun to light up the night

A pioneering system which provides shade during the day and solar-powered lighting at night is being introduced to public spaces in Israel.

The award winning environmentally friendly installation is currently being rolled out following a successful six-month trial. Plans are also underway to market the low-cost scheme worldwide.

The innovative fabric, LumiWeave, is the brainchild of technology designer Anai Green who won a prize in a “Women for Climate” international technology competition launched by the C40 organisation, a network of almost 100 major cities committed to action to combat the climate crisis. The contest was designed to encourage gender diversity in innovation, technology and the environment.

LumiWeave contains solar organic PV cells to harness the energy of the sun to provide off-grid lighting at night. The unique material is lightweight and flexible and allows easy, inexpensive installation.

Tal Parnes, LumiWeave CEO, said the pilot scheme showed that the system was fully able to withstand all weather conditions, heavy storms, strong winds and hail. “During the winter it continued illuminating for three days without any sun.

“Feedback from the public has been very positive. They like the idea that it provides shade and light with zero pollution.”

He said LumiWeave is not reliant on sunny climates and is designed to be viable in most of the northern hemisphere, including Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Canada’s major cities.

During the winter the system can be totally sealed and used for rain protection.

Parnel said the installations offer a cost effective green solution. “For the public sector, it costs only an additional $20-$25 a square meter compared to standard non-illuminating shade.”

Other applications of Lumiweave are in the pipeline and the company is currently developing foldable parasols earmarked for two sites on Tel Aviv beaches. It is also looking to adapt its product for large festivals and campsites, as well as powering greenhouses in the agricultural sector.

At the same time, the company is exploring marketing Lumiweave for the food and beverage industry in the United States where it plans to have a presence by the end of the year, before expanding globally.

The first installations are currently being erected in three Israeli towns, to be followed early summer by a large-scale roll-out of hundreds of square meters in the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo.

The innovative venture has been hailed as “groundbreaking” by the city’s mayor, Ron Huldai. “Thinking about sustainability, green energy, and climate protection is part of the DNA of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality,” he said. “From the planning stages to the execution stages we think green, plan green, imagine green.”

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