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Sheep and raffle solar foil April Fool's joke

29 March 2011

10.30 a.m., on April 1st 2011:

The raffle of solar cell foil that could be stuck to your window at home and plugged into your electricity grid turns out to have been an April Fool's joke by a few members of staff at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences).

With the cover story that on Friday 1 April sheep would be delivered to graze on the Faculty’s lawns, the ‘organic mowing’ that the Groningen municipality has been organizing for years, the raffle of solar cell foil for at home was announced. 178 colleagues registered for the raffle. On Friday morning, the winner – called ‘1 April’ – was announced in the Bernoulliborg hall.

This action has again confirmed – although unintentionally – that there is a lot of interest in sustainability. Many people want to be able to use solar power or other sustainable options in their homes.  

The earlier message on the raffle dated Thursday, March 29th:

The Faculty of Science and Engineering has initiated a sustainability project. As follow-up to the city’s project for ‘natural lawn mowing’ by sheep in the last two years, the faculty will also use sheep for mowing the lawns next to faculty’s buildings on the Zernike campus. Because of unique shapes and objects like works of art and trees, some lawns are difficult to mow by machine; especially those around the new building for life sciences.

To mark the start of this project a matching device for sustainable energy is raffled off amongst all staff members of the faculty. It concerns flexible solar foil that generates green electricity and that can easily be attached to the window at home. Staff members can sign up for the raffle until Thurscay March 31st at the latest. The winning ticket will be drawn the next day. The research group of Prof. Kees Hummelen will provide the solar foil and take care of proper installation. Prof. Hummelen has been working for years on the development of plastic solar cells. Recently he was awarded EUR 5 million to set up a focus group for solar cell research which should result in ‘plastic’ solar cells ready for large-scale production and application in 2020.

Last modified:16 August 2017 4.56 p.m.
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