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Power window wins half million euros

The Delft start-up Physee won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge with its PowerWindow yesterday. The first prize in the world’s biggest competition for sustainable entrepreneurs is 500.000 euros.

Physee's product, the Powerwindow, won the finale of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge much to the amazement of young entrepreneur Willem Kesteloo (29). He had promised the jury he would change their view on the world. "Have you ever wondered how much glass you see every day?" he challenged the jury under the presidency of Sir Richard Branson. "What if we could give all that glass extra functionality?"

The Powerwindow, which Kesteloo developed together with his teammate Ferdinand Grapperhuis (28), converts part of the incident light on a two-paned window into electricity. The window has a coating which traps part of the light and leads it to solar panel strips that line the window panes. On average one-meter-square delivers 20 watts, enough to power a laptop, according to Kesteloo.

Kesteloo now wants to scale up business, he said over his car-phone. "We want to have the product on sale by next year and to be the standard for windows in five years' time," he said. In a couple of weeks, the first large-scale test will start in a renovated office building from the Rabobank called Fellenoord in Eindhoven. "There we will test the power production and collect data for further product development."

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge started in 2007 and celebrated its second lustrum this year. Apart from Physee, there were four other finalists: Runner-up Green City Solutions (Germany), Steama.co (UK, Kenya), Home biogas (Israel) and Ioniqua Technologies (Netherlands).

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge started in 2007 and celebrated its second lustrum this year. Apart from Physee, there were four other finalists: Runner-up Green City Solutions (Germany), Steama.co (UK, Kenia), Home biogas (Israel) and Ioniqua Technologies (Netherlands).

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