The Hottest Trends Surrounding Solar Panels and Solar Energy

Today, solar energy is in huge demand. Owing to the widespread concern on environmental preservation, people have begun looking for alternatives for their energy resources. One such offshoot of the solar energy is the solar panels.

Retail stores using them on the roofs!
The latest trends doing the rounds these days are that full-fledged retailers have begun using solar panels on the tops of their roofs. The predominant driving force is saving on energy but the costs can work out cheaper too, especially, when considering a long term perspective. The reason is that using these solar panels, retailers can leverage significant tax advantage. Plus, it always helps a retail store to be associated with an environmental conservation campaign and what better way than using solar energy to proclaim its eco-friendly initiatives?

Printable panels
Konarka Technologies, which is based out of Massachusetts, has invented a new way of manufacturing solar panels – by printing them! With the help of inkjet printing techniques, the company has been able to manufacture these panels. This has posed as a breakthrough as it significantly reduces the cost of manufacturing these panels. Plus, the added advantage of printing these panels is that they can easily be coated or printed directly onto varied surfaces. Using a similar technique as used for printing newspapers (roll-to-roll technique), this can be made possible.

Solar panels now on cellular phones
Unlike the earlier bulky gadgets that solar panels have been found on, today even straps on cellular phones can have them, thanks to a Japanese team’s effort. In an effort to help consumers recharge their cellular phone batteries easily, these panels may prove invaluable. The current league of power straps that are back-up charging alternatives for mobile phones need to be separately charged. However, in the case of these straps containing solar panels, the sunlight is all it takes to get the battery charged. With 6 hours of charging from the sunlight, you can avail of extra battery life of upto 35 minutes. This technology is currently being provided by Strap-Ya and is called Solar Charge EC.

Space vehicles set to use it too
Currently, a lot of research is being devoted to developing and enhancing new-age solar panels which can be used for space ships as well. The most touted varieties of these panels are the silicon infused, amorphous variants. Currently, there is a contract between AFRL or Air Force Research Laboratory located in New Mexico along with United Solar Ovonic to further enhance technology pertaining to solar cells. This will help facilitate their usage on airships and space ships alike. The first batch of solar panels developed by United Solar Ovonic is extremely lightweight and rests on thin foils made of stainless steel.

Solar panels now on fabrics!
The Japanese have always been known for their inventions and attention to detail. Now, they are extending it to the realm of solar panels as well. The new type of solar panel is extremely thin and comes in a cellular form. It can be easily molded, colored into a desired hue and then applied onto fabrics. This means, now people can boast eco-friendly garments which also look aesthetically pleasing!

Thanks the Techstore Team

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