— Around The Home
Solar-powered skylight opens and closes by remote control
The Velux Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight
Skylights are a nice way of letting daylight into your house, and if they can be opened, they’re also effective at letting out the hot, stuffy air that rises to the ceiling. Depending on their location, however, they can be difficult to open without running electrical wiring up to them. That’s why Velux has introduced its no-wiring-required Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight.
The Fresh Air Skylight has its own built-in rooftop solar panel, that charges an integrated battery, even on cloudy days or non-south-facing roofs. That battery powers a motor, that opens and closes the skylight on command via a wireless remote. Using that remote, users can also program the window to open and close on a pre-determined schedule.
A sensor next to the solar panel detects raindrops, and prompts the skylight to automatically close in the event of a shower. Should users want to shield their homes from the heat of the mid-day sun, factory-installed blinds are available as an option – these can also be controlled with the remote.
The Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight is available in a variety of sizes and glazing options, with prices ranging from approximately US$1,015 to $1,915. The skylight can be seen in use in the video below.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
US$1,015 to $1,915? I got this invention, it's called using my hands to open the window and it's cost me US$0.
I have the same one Giwin, works tits on my skylight, go upstairs, move hand on handle, , oh the horror of moving a panel, ROFL
In most European homes we don't have air conditioning- and if you've been at work all day in the summer you don't want to come home to a sauna (many people have their entire dwellings within the roofspace, particularly granny flats, and in city centre apartments). Skylights such as these can make rooms become uncomfortably hot very quickly. In Britain there can be many days where the weather cycles rapidly from bright sunshine to sudden showers. One may not be present in the house when these events occur.
Whilst a lot of home automation products are often only a boon to the lazy, this product is extremely practical- not to mention ecologically sound as any refrigeration equipment in the room below would not have to compensate for having to work flat-out in very hot conditions.
$ ouch. I think I'll wait till everybody has one (recycled?)
I wonder if some logic circuitry could tie it to the HVAC thermostat too? maybe add a directional PV attic fan?
For this to be useful in a climate-controlled house, it needs an integrated thermostat or communication with the main thermostat. Otherwise there will be times that the skylight ventilation is fighting the house's HVAC rather than providing free cooling.
The price not withstanding I think it is a good start. It needs to be able to tie in with a stat so it doesn't open on cold days or when an Ac is on. This should also be possible with just battery power with zwave or enocean or what ever Apple is doing.
Ok, somewhat late to the party here, but six of these are going across the, directly south facing with no tree cover, front of our house tomorrow. We need to reroof anyway. We're in New England and have chosen not to have central AC...no point really, we'd only need it for a couple of months out of the year.
We have been ROASTING with the six, old, south facing skylights for the last two summers. They are so old there are no blinds available for them short of $600 a piece customs and three won't even open any more.
These seem like a no brainer for our situation. Don't need to be tied into the thermostat, as we have no AC and they'll be closed all winter.
Also, there is a 30% federal tax credit available through 2016 on these skylights...just about makes up the difference between VSS and manual skylight cost if you have a tax bill at all.
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning