Most office complexes are as brightly lit as a desert at high noon, which results in high electric bills for owners and copious cringing for those who value energy saving practices. Come 2011, all the wasteful excess energy that positively gushes from fluorescent lighting fixtures can be harnessed and used to power devices with the aid of the CubeTube, a cylindrical photovoltaic electrical generator made by Solaroad Technologies Group, LLC.
According to Red Ferret, the CubeTube collects ambient, incandescent, and indoor florescent lighting from all directions thanks to the cylindrical shape of the device. The gathered electricity can then be used to power workstations, which plug into the base of the CubeTube. But what happens if your computer is plugged in when the Tube’s energy reserves are depleted? “With a back-up internal Lithium Polymer/Ion battery and a smart charging system that monitors charging levels … the system automatically switches back to the battery,” assures Red Ferret. As another fail safe, the CubeTube will instantly switch over to the AC power grid should its internal battery go kaput; usage of the CubeTube resumes once its system has been charged.
Solaroad’s CubeTube website details an impressive list of the device’s boons: not only does its shape allow it to snag wasted light from all directions, but it’s also adaptable to many locations, including perched on desks or windowsills, or clipped to cubicle walls; reduced electric bills; and of course, because the CubeTube utilizes indoor lighting rather than solar energy, overcast days pose no threat to its usage.