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Solar technology is used more than ever in the current world. However, many innovative and exciting ideas have come from a breakthrough in solar technology all around the world. Here are some of them.

1.      Solar windows

glass solar
Figure 1 Solar windows (ClearVue, 2020)

Solar glass functions similarly to solar panels. They use solar energy to generate power. In the construction of buildings, many building owners are increasingly using solar glasses as windows. These solar windows, unlike traditional solar panels, enable sunlight to enter through much like regular windows. These windows have solar panels built into them and photovoltaic glazing with solar cells. Building-integrated photovoltaics is another name for them (BIPV).

Read more about building integrated photovoltaics and more solar technology innovations of 2021 here: https://engineerinc.io/solar-tech-innovations-in-2021/

Solar windows of higher grade have efficiency levels of 12 to 15%, which is significantly higher than many solar panels. Onyx Solar and Polysolar UK are two of the most well-known solar glass producers.

How do they work?

Light flowing through the windows generates power during the day. It can give free renewable energy to a facility. Any excess energy will be stored in the grid or saved in a solar battery.

Click here to read about excess solar storage in this article: https://engineerinc.io/are-solar-arrays-always-a-great-decision-for-your-house/

Because of their tint, these solar windows are excellent for boosting a building’s privacy.  Furthermore, they reduce interior temperatures, prevent UV light, and have lower installation costs as compared to regular solar panels.

2.      Solar paint

New solar paint tech
Figure 2 Solar paint (Shutterstock, 2017)

Is it feasible to use make solar paint? Scientists have proposed theories that have caught the interest of investors all around the world. Solar paints of various varieties are now being developed. Moreover, each one has its unique method of generating energy. Many of these paint prototypes have photovoltaic properties. However, this implies that it can generate electricity by absorbing solar energy.

Different solar paint ideas

Quantum Dot Solar Cells– t his might be the most well-known solar paint approach. The University of Toronto was responsible for the creation of this. Susanna Thon, a researcher, explained that the goal was to better utilize the sun’s infrared spectrum. However, aside from visible light, 99 percent of the electromagnetic spectrum comprises radiation.

Quantum Dot solar
Figure 3 Quantum Dot Solar Cells (Paint) (EcoWatch, 2022)

Perovskite solar paint – Lev Perovskite, a Russian mineralogist, is the inventor of Perovskite Solar Paint. It was based on his “perovskite crystals” finding. When light strikes perovskite, the mineral components are semiconductors, capable of carrying an electric charge. Ultrasound machines and solar cells both use perovskite materials nowadays.

perovskite solar
Figure 4 This thin-film perovskite cell (TNO, 2021)

The first two solar paint concepts attempted to transform sunlight into DC electricity like that of contemporary solar panels. However, the Hydrogen-Producing Solar Paint concept proposes to manufacture hydrogen fuel.  “Developing a liquid that contains a chemical to absorb moisture in the air” is the notion.

“Mixing the chemical with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that creates hydrogen fuel from solar energy and wet air,” says Dr. Torben Daeneke from RMIT.

3. Solar clothing

Solar clothing is solar-integrated wearable clothes, as the name implies. The goal of this innovation was to integrate flexible solar cells into clothing to provide electricity for portable electronics. Moreover, scientists have invented a new sort of ultra-thin photovoltaic gadget, according to the Nature Energy research magazine. These include stretchable and waterproof films on both surfaces allowing the solar to function efficiently even after it has been wet in water or stretched.

Solar clothing
Figure 5 Solar clothing (Starr. M, 2014)

Moreover, the RIKEN institute and the University of Tokyo have created PNTz4T-based organic photovoltaic cells that are exceptionally thin and flexible. These technologies were incorporated into solar clothing.

4. Solar cars

Solar cars transform the sun’s energy into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Semiconductors, most often silicon, are used in car solar panels to capture light energy. Furthermore, this energy liberates electrons in semiconductors, resulting in an electron flow. This energy then powers the solar car’s battery and customized engine.

Solar technology used vehicles are a fantastic idea since they operate silently to reduce noise pollution on roads. Furthermore, unlike gasoline engines, they do not emit greenhouse gases.

Solar cars
Figure 6 solar car (esticastresearch, 2021)

5.  Solar water

Solar water is a breakthrough in the field of water scarcity. However, this new solar technology is a water desalination technique.  It converts the Sun’s energy into heat to start the desalination process, which turns salt water into potable water.

How does the Solar desalination system work?

Solar water tech
Figure 7 Solar Powered Desalination system (elementalwatermakers, n.d.,)

The Sun heats the saltwater in the desalination machine, which causes the liquid to evaporate. The evaporated water then climbs to the unit’s top. Moreover, this gathers on the inside of the lid and condenses back to liquid in a separate collection container as freshwater.

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