The technology industry is always buzzing with new solar inventions. In fact, cool and forever-evolving solar technology is one of the reasons many homeowners are attracted to solar panels. And we can’t blame them! Solar monitoring can provide pretty cool insights into how much energy your home generates and consumes when you choose to receive your power from solar panels. The fact of the matter is that society is constantly figuring out new and exciting ways to harness the sun. Let’s take a look at a few.
7 Solar Inventions Worth Checking Out
- Solar Fabric
- Solar Skin
- Thermoradiative Diode
- Solar Wall Panels
- Window Socket
- Solar Air Conditioner
- Water Producing Solar Panels
We’ve got a secret – there are probably more ways than you know to use solar energy. And with each solar invention, we’re one step closer to a solar-powered world. Here are 7 pretty stellar solar inventions that could change, or already are changing, the world.
1. Solar Fabric
That’s why one of the coolest solar inventions topping our list is solar fabric. This savvy invention combines fabric with photovoltaics to bring clean energy to you in the most versatile ways. Here are some solar inventions that branch out from solar fabric:
- Solar Tent, Heated Floor – We’re in the dawn of a new age. Expect more out of your camping experience, like the Orange Chill ‘n Charge tent. While the solar tent heated floor combo is still in development, just imagine how it could upgrade your whole outdoors experience. Unlike the solar panel curtain (which we’ll learn about later), the fabric used for the solar tent heated floor design is coated with special solar-receiving threads that are blended with conventional fabric to capture the sun’s energy in a revolutionary way. The concept has other cool features, like Wi-Fi, charging, and of course, a heated floor.
- Photovoltaic Clothing – Now your swag can save the world! Okay, that was an exaggeration, but at least you can save your friend’s phone on the go with photovoltaic clothing. As mentioned above, solar nanotech-powered clothing weaves special filaments into threads to make fabric that actually cultivates solar energy. This nifty solar invention makes solar wearable and it’s proof of how seamless solar can fit into our everyday life.
- Solar Panel Curtains – The solar curtain, patented by Yalcin Enerji, takes home decor to a whole new level. The solar panel curtain is lined with interchangeable photovoltaic cells that actually generate energy. The panels are covered by a special, completely customizable fabric that allows photons from the sun to penetrate. This allows for the fabric to generate energy, which can be redistributed as a source of power for your home. The company asserts that one of their curtains can “…save 33% of the electricity bills of a family of four.” People interested in this patented product can order directly from the manufacturer.
2. Solar Skins
Solar Skins (or SolarSkin) is a solar invention developed by Sistine Solar to give panels a fresh look. This totally customizable “skin” is an overlay that displays a graphic over your solar panels. Solar Skins enhance the curb appeal of solar panels by bringing a bit of your personality along. Moreover, this technology can preserve up to 99% of the energy generation through its light filtration technology. Users can select any color, image, or logo to display over their solar arrays without worrying about the efficiency of their panels.
3. Thermoradiative Diode
What a mouth-full! But this new concept could mean a house-full of solar energy… at night. Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight from the sun and converting it into electricity to power your home (and as we hope you’re learning, everything else). For more information, check out how solar panels work. During the day, the Earth absorbs solar energy and at night, the Earth releases that energy into outer space in a process called radiative cooling. Thermoradiative Diode sort of works like a solar cell, but in reverse. It harnesses the thermal energy that the Earth radiates towards outer space and converts that into electricity. This concept is still in the developing stages, but it could mean great things one day for how we generate electricity.
4. Solar Wall Panels
This solar invention has many names, but the concept is all the same. You might have heard about solar wall panels as “solar cladding” or “adaptive solar facade,” but these are all great ways to talk about solar panels as exterior building materials. Building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems were a key component in creating LG’s net zero building model, the ThinQ Home. This new solar panel technology offers 16% module efficiency and a clear design to hide the solar cells. BIPV can take the possible forms of roofs, canopies, curtain walls, facades, and even skylight systems so as to not compromise the design of a building. This is not to be confused with wall-mounted solar panels, a solar invention used to combat shading.
5. Window Socket
A window socket, also known as a solar outlet, is an innovative solar invention that makes charging with clean energy super easy. You just stick it onto any nearby window and let it work its magic. The portable plug has a sheet of smaller solar panels affixed to the side that faces the sun and will stick onto any window by using a suction cup. The other side is where you can plug in your charger to power your devices. While this solar invention is still in the conceptualization phase, it’s anticipated that the window socket could supply “up to 10 hours of 100W electricity.”
6. Solar Air Conditioner
Solar brings on a whole new way to beat the heat with a solar air conditioner. According to the Energy Information Administration, “More than half of energy use in homes is for heating and air conditioning.” That means keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter is eating up a major chunk of your bill. In fact, Energy Saver, an office in the U.S. Department of Energy, found that collectively Americans are spending over $29 billion on their home heating and cooling a year. A solar air conditioner means taking down one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home and lowering your carbon footprint. Solar-powered air conditioners are on the market. For more information about them, check out this comprehensive guide.
7. Water Producing Solar Panels
Water-producing solar panels, or Hydropanels from SOURCE, combine two renewable resources of power for a greater good. These solar panels run completely off-grid. They absorb air, turn it into water, then add minerals to make it drinkable and store the water as a reservoir. This solar invention was created to maximize access to water in drier climates. SOURCE asserts that “A single SOURCE Hydropanel eliminates the need for 54,000 single-use plastic water bottles over its 15-year lifespan.” This is an awesome solar feat against pollution and sustainability. Also, it’s a perfect example for how diverse solar energy is.
Solar Panels: An Already Stellar Solar Invention
There’s always an innovative solar invention to tell your friends about. But these great leaps in solar technology wouldn’t have been possible without the work done by early solar panel pioneers. Solar panels are already a huge technological advancement. They generate an abundance of clean energy for your home and bring along potential financial benefits and are eco-friendly! Contact one of our Solar Energy Specialists today to find out about the latest in solar panel technology and how it can propel your household into the future of clean energy.