A Sunny Concept: Clothesline Solar Power Collectors

We all know the benefits of hanging our laundry out to dry: it saves money and energy over using a tumble dryer, and your clothes and linens smell great when you pull them inside. Seeing laundry hanging outside on clotheslines gave designer Jinsic Kim another idea for saving energy: hanging small solar panels outside to soak up the sun.

The idea behind the Sunbox concept is that your home appliances probably won’t be in use while you aren’t home, so there’s plenty of time to charge the solar collectors during the day while you’re off at work. When you come home, you simply grab them from the clothesline, plug them into whatever appliances you need, and enjoy your clean solar power.

While the concept is lovely and poetic, sadly it’s not too realistic. Based on the designer’s renderings, the Sunbox is very small; a solar panel that size would be able to provide only an extremely small amount of power to any electric device. However, if the Sunbox were redesigned to store the energy in a small area while larger, more efficient collectors were left permanently outdoors, it just may work to power some smaller home appliances. Still, it’s forward-thinking design that helps us develop new and better technology, so hats off to Jinsic Kim for thinking outside of the box.

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See more in Unbuilt Concepts or under Technology. March, 2010.