What Is The Future For Solar Technology?

what is the future for solar technology

The sun emits sufficient power onto our planet every second to meet the energy demands of the entire human race for more than 2 hours. Despite that, in 2018 not even 2% of the earth’s energy came from solar. Things are changing though. The amount of energy harvested from sunlight increased more than 300-fold between the period between 2000 and 2019. And there are exciting developments in the pipeline. Continue reading.


Building-integrated Solar Technologies


These blend seamlessly into new buildings in the form of skylight systems, roofs, facades, curtain walls, and canopies. Apart from looking much nicer than traditional solar panels, they also allow homeowners to save on the cost of building materials.


Other benefits include improved energy efficiency, no carbon footprint, lower O&M costs, and better sound and thermal insulation.


Floatovoltaics Or Floating Solar Farms


Photovoltaic panels consist of photovoltaic solar power systems specially made to float on dams, lakes, reservoirs, and other large bodies of water. Their biggest advantage is that they offer vastly improved efficiency compared to traditional solar technologies.


These floating ‘solar farms’ are able to generate massive amounts of electric power without the need for expensive real estate. It’s also cheaper to install them than their land-based counterparts. Plus, because of the water’s cooling effect, they produce up to 10% more electricity.


More Efficient Solar Cells


The solar cells of tomorrow will almost certainly be much better at converting the sunlight’s energy into electricity. One way in which they will do this is by using several layers of light-capturing materials instead of just one. Laboratory tests on solar cells with four layers have recently shown that they are able to capture no less than 46% of the incoming energy from the sun. Right now these cells are still too expensive for commercial production…but ongoing research is bound to make them financially viable in the not too distant future.


Solar Fabric That Generates Electricity From Sunlight


Imagine when the day comes that you can generate electricity through the clothes that you are wearing. If this sounds like science fiction, rest assured that it’s not. Researchers are working on solar fabric with the idea of eventually including solar power in every single fiber. This will involve solar filaments that are embedded in our winter coats, jeans, dresses, etc. The energy created in this way will not only help to keep us warm, but it could also power our phones, and generate electricity for other needs.


Solar cell manufacturers are currently already working with the US Army to develop robotic tents powered by solar energy.


Solar Skins


These custom-designed solar panels are the brainchild of a company called Sistine. They are not unlike the ad wraps we often see displayed on bus windows. Tests have so far shown that they are highly efficient at converting sunlight into energy.


The way these ‘skins’ work is that they filter the sunlight onto the solar cells below. This allows the system to generate solar energy and display a custom image at the same time. When installed on your home’s roof, for example, they can create an image that accurately matches the look of the rest of the roof.


These panels can also be used by government offices and businesses where they can be customized to display important messages, logos, advertisements, etc. Apart from that they also have a much nicer appearance with no visible metal components.


Final Words On The Future Of Solar Technology


After reading the above you will most likely agree with us that, when it comes to solar power, the sky is literally the limit. Solar is here to stay, and the sooner you start benefiting from it, the better – whether you live in Marthas Vinyard or New York City.







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