Right now, most people only come into personal contact with solar power via panels on their home, or perhaps a solar-powered car. However, technology is fast progressing far beyond that. Developments have already occurred which sound like something out of science fiction — and it won't be long before these technologies form a large part of mainstream use. Here are just three advancements to get excited about in the solar industry.
Transparent Solar Panels
Some households won't consider having solar panels fitted simply because they find them unsightly. It's perfectly understandable to want to appreciate the look of your own home — so hopefully, it won't be long before transparent panels hit the mainstream market. They look exactly like glass and can be incorporated into any skylight or window. At the moment, they're extremely expensive and not as efficient as traditional panels, but it won't be long before the prices settle and the tech improves. Then, every building in the world will be able to incorporate solar power in a very discreet and modern way.
This may not be a problem for countries like Australia with great land mass, but some places can really struggle to find areas to place solar panels. After all, they need to be placed facing exactly the right direction to catch the sun, and that may not always be convenient with existing buildings. Now, mass floating 'blankets' of solar panels are being constructed to sit neatly on the surface of bodies of water, taking up absolutely no premium land at all.
Space Solar Power
This one really sounds like a Hollywood plotline — but it's very real. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, is currently developing technology which will wirelessly transmit solar power from massive orbiting solar panels right down to the surface of the earth. The estimated completion date for this project is 2030, but a working test of the principle has already been successfully completed on land.
Though these advancements are fascinating and show us exactly how far we've come, it's also worth looking at how far solar cell efficiency has come too. It may not be as big of a headline or as attention-grabbing, but the way scientists are now streamlining solar tech to get the absolute most out of our sunlight is an improvement in a league all of its own. In other words, whatever doom-and-gloom you might hear about on the news sometimes, there's still hope for human technology yet.Share
26 February 2018
Ever since I was a young child, my parents have instilled in me a passion for helping the environment. I was the child who happily used the same school bag right through primary school, so it was one less schoolbag that ended up unnecessarily in the trash. As I have moved into adulthood, I do everything I can to recycle. This blog shares my passion for recycling because I know that even small efforts add up to a significant positive impact on the environment. Join me on my recycling journey, so that you too can make a difference to the planet that we will pass on to our children.