Icaro and Demetra - two new smart products of high technology made by the Project Team of Prof. Marinella Levi in collaboration with ENI - at the Maker Faire held in Rome in October 2015

RENEWABLES - the complex acronym used for Renewable Energies Will Amaze Bringing Light on Earth and Sky - is a joint project between Eni and the + LAB of Polytechnic of Milan, which gave birth to two new smart technological products, Icaro and Demetra, which show how it is possible to take advantage from solar energy and to exploit the full potential of renewable energies.

   Icaro is a small balloon on which various polymeric solar cells (OPV) are mounted. Even if these new cells have lower performance than the previous, they are more flexible, lightweight, economic and above all free of toxic materials. The concept of Icaro is to show how in future installations for solar power may be raised in the air rather than planted in the ground with greater benefits in terms of energy efficiency and care of natural landscape.  

   Demetra is a smart greenhouse for plants made by LSC panels, a technology that allows to turn an ordinary sheet of clear plastic in a material that collects light on the surface and leads it to the edges. Twelve researchers, engineers, chemists, physicists and designers have conceived, designed and built this greenhouse, large a cubic meter, in just two months.  
  Demetra, with all its aromatic plants exhibited (with but also without earth) at the ENI stand, was the real “star” of the Maker Faire held in Rome in October 2015. The event attracted over 100,000 visitors in three days, and had wide resonance in the national press as well as on the most known social networks.

 The RENEWABLES project was sponsored by a video on Youtube, entirely recorded in the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering of Politecnico di Milano, which in few days has had over 600 visitors, and has also been chosen by ENI as the official video to promote its commitment to photovoltaics in its Intranet and in its locations spread all over the world.

   For further information on the event read the articles Con la serra intelligente la pianta dice: ‘Ho sete’, published in Il Messaggero, 17th October 2015, p. 27; and “Renewables, l’energia solare come non l’hai mai vista”, published in Wired, 11th November 2015.
  To find more explanations on the features of these new technological products and their perfomances you may also refer to the following webpages:

http://www.ilmessaggero.it/TECNOLOGIA/MAKERFAIRE/demetra_serra_intelligente_pianta_maker_faire/notizie/1625294.shtml

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FdKg-bvHfQ

Icaro and Demetra have both a Twitter account (Twitter @icaromaker and @demetramaker) on which updates and curiosities are regularly posted.