Utilising next generation solar technology, Energy Fairies have developed Flutter Shutter – an innovative range of smart, stylish, solar blinds enabling any home or business to easily generate their own solar generated electricity. The mission for the Energy Fairy team (made up of three Liverpool-based sisters - Rechelle Davis, Nadine Griffin and Rhianne Griffin) is to take advantage of the booming demand for home based energy generation brought about by the forthcoming ‘Consumer Power’ revolution, which would see UK consumers generate over 44.15GW annually by 2050.
Approaching LCR 4.0
Energy Fairies saw LCR 4.0 as an exciting opportunity to further develop their Flutter Shutter solution. Notably, the Energy Fairies team wanted to specifically concentrate upon iterative design and test development of their envisaged smart sun tracking feature, which has the potential to dramatically increase energy generating potential and overall efficiency.
Subsequently LCR 4.0's key delivery partner, LJMU, worked together with the Energy Fairies team to identify a suitable final year engineering graduate from the University, who was tasked with progressing the smart tracking feature utilising their joint skills and the cutting edge testing facilities provided by LJMU's Exemplary Houses (a set of three purpose built Smart Homes).
The team at LJMU tested and assessed the design of Flutter Shutter over a wide range of situational variables, transforming the lab data into a range of theoretical energy collection models. Utilising these models the team managed to put forward a number of design modifications which not only had the potential to increase energy collection efficiency but also facilitated the possibility for the blinds to act as a draft prevention device – whilst maintaining the aesthetic beauty of the blinds.
Preventing drafts in homes and businesses is key to increasing heating energy efficiency. By addressing this issue Flutter Shutter has the potential to add even more value to its product offering, leading to shorter payback times and greater energy generating output.
Working into the future
The Energy Fairies have a bright future ahead. With a product that has extensive potential for installation in millions of homes and business in the UK alone, they are now concentrating upon working with their local council to increase adoption rate within local families and tenants on lower incomes – who typically struggle to access cheap energy.
The founders know that continued R&D work will be key to ensuring Flutter Shutter is the market leading solution. The Energy Fairy team has already looked into potential improvements to power storage for the device alongside ways in which the Flutter Shutter can be produced utilising Industry 4.0 principles. To this end, LJMU are supporting the Energy Fairies with their commercialisation strategy and helping them source local manufacturers and utilise cutting edge manufacturing techniques.
Rechelle Davis, Director, Energy Fairies commented:
“LCR4.0 have been absolutely instrumental in getting Flutter Shutter to market. The manufacturing process was something we really struggled with. LCR4.0 sat down with us, took us through everything one step at a time. We began to build upon it, and with their help and intervention, our engineering and manufacturing aspects are coming together in ways we never could’ve achieved on our own!”