2020 and 2021 have been years of extreme stress in the very term, especially in the sector of health and economics. However, the world managed to get out of this these turbulent years. Keeping this, the solar industry also managed to develop advanced technology during those years that can revolutionize energy production. The solar energy industry has come from a hiatus because many projects were canceled because of COVID-19. Now new PVC capacity is highly expected to be installed much higher than those of last years. Many countries have already planned and tried to exceed their solar capacity for upcoming years as all the governments are setting efficient goals for decarbonization. For the upcoming years, they have updated solar panel technology for energy production. It turns out that during the lockdown period, they have been thinking about saving energy and relying on natural resources and fossil fuels as much as possible.
During the last forty years, there has been a dynamic surge in the use of solar panels in the United States of America. Not only in the USA but many other countries as well to cut short reliance on natural resources and fossil fuels. Moreover, life with solar panels and technology is easy and advanced which can make you free on the move. Although, in recent years, about 10.6 GW of energy was harnessed attempts are being made with the new and latest solar panel technology to make it even better. Efforts have been made in this cause to come up with technology that requires low maintenance but generates more power. Some of the best solar panel technologies that will revolutionize energy production are mentioned below:
Green Hydrogen Technology
Green Hydrogen Technology has always been demanded by users and developers. The year 2021 witnessed a major boom in the interest in this technology. This technology has managed to gain the attention of some major companies from all across the world and has been a piece of interest throughout the year. In the UK, solar panel energy companies are planning to invest in green hydrogen technology production units all across the country. In Switzerland and Canada, a lot of attention is being given to the production of green hydrogen technology. This technology means that the electrolysis ability in green hydrogen can produce energy from any source of water preferably salt water. Some companies have joined hands and the process of production of green silicon material is going on.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics
Many buildings in residential blocks and commercial areas have wide surfaces that can easily and efficiently contribute to the production of solar energy without disturbing the image of the buildings. Building Integrated Photovoltaics has an aesthetic appeal that can enhance the use of BIPV among people. Among people, the customized panel is already quite popular for terraces and backyards. Nevertheless, the most popular and attractive product is photovoltaic glass.
This panel is manufactured from transparent photovoltaic cells. When PV glass is touched by the sunlight, it let sunlight enter the building meanwhile producing invisible energy side by side. This is a new feature that can be easily installed while renewing a building. The incorporation of solar power into the architecture of a building can have innumerable advantages. It is a source of production of an unlimited amount of energy which requires low maintenance and cost, along with improved insulation, and optimization of thermal. It is one of the technologies that steps towards zero-carbonization.
Floating Photovoltaic Solar Panels
Among all surfaces, lakes and reservoirs have one of the largest surfaces that have a high potential for producing solar energy. One of the greatest advantages of floating photovoltaic solar panels is that they can produce a large amount of solar energy without taking up a great area of land and real estate. Floating photovoltaic solar panels were first used commercially in the year 2007 in Japan. PV solar systems generally use an air cooling system for the prevention of overheating but in floating PV solar panels, water has increased the energy production by 10%. The reason behind an increase in energy is the water beneath the panels. The maintenance cost of FPV is less expensive than others. Because water keeps the panels’ dirt free, however, the cost of management of lake or reservoir becomes less expensive. The shade cast by panels helps in reducing the growth of algae over the surface of the water. The shade of panels also helps in less evaporation of water by sunlight.
Thin-Film Solar Cells
According to different research, it has proved that the efficiency of solar cells increases if they are in up to four layers. The layers allow the panels to harness about 46% energy instead of 18% energy as harnessed by regular solar panels. But, the point of conflict is that these kinds of solar panels are quite expensive for commercial use. However, there is a solution for this as suggested by the latest innovation in the production of solar panels. In comparison to standard photovoltaics, the solar fabric is incredibly thin and lightweight. One of the best features of solar fabric is that it is flexible, and it can easily be fitted on any circular structure. It can easily be installed on window shades, and doors as well. Its quality of being lightly weighted makes it extremely ideal for covering large expanses. At the present, the efficiency of solar fabric for producing energy from the sun is 13%, but it is quite good in low light levels.
The solar-powered LED has changed the whole map of streets and pathways in the USA. LED solar lighting has the advantage of working off the grid. The LED does not need high maintenance costs and the expenditure is about 25% less than others. While the installation of solar-powered LED, there is no need to use traditional trench and cables that are way too much expensive. The latest technology in LED has improved the battery condition and electronics. It also comes up with a backup system that keeps the lighting functioning for many days. In this, efficiency can be highly improved with the help of controllable electronics. In this, lighting can also be adjusted according to the location or the weather conditions. Public safety is one of the biggest advantages of solar lighting as there were issues in areas regarding lighting. LED solar lighting with battery power is sustainable and ecological.
Photovoltaic Noise Barriers
On American highways, there are more than 3,000 miles of noise barriers lining. The function of noise barriers is to reduce noise pollution as much as possible by diverting the sound waves to noise back to their source of origin. These barriers also contribute to the reduction of air pollution by restricting harmful fumes. Although these barriers help in reducing noise pollution, they also provide space for the production of solar energy. According to estimation, these barriers can produce about 400 GW of energy around the year. Double-sided solar cells are used to increase the production of energy. For the purpose of generating solar energy, the barriers should be properly aligned to make use of solar energy. When it is used with double-sided solar cells, the tilt and orientation do not contribute to creating problems.
Solar skins are a work of innovation, and they are photovoltaic technology for the integration of customized design in solar panel systems. The technology of solar skins is just like the ad wraps that we often see on bus windows. This new technology is being tested by manufacturers in the United States of America with the purpose of increasing its efficiency even more. The sunlight that falls on solar skins is filtered first and then it goes to the solar cells beneath the panel. Consequently, it does two works, it displays the custom image, and secondly, it provides solar energy. The imprinted custom images that are embedded into solar panels can be a direct match to the grassy lawns or the rooftop of your buildings. In the government and business sectors, solar skin panels are quite beneficial. As they can be used to customize the business logo and display it, or they can even display the advertisements and country’s flag, and much more. Along with that, solar skin panels use rail-less racking systems. This panel has a sleek finish and works best too can see metal components which gives a rather cool look to the panel. If you are concerned with aesthetics and for this reason, you are not going for solar panels, then solar skins can be a good choice for you. Moreover, the solar skin allows you to witness system performance on your mobile phone all the time. It also gives you warnings if there is any issue or outages of solar energy.
Not only it warns about the upcoming issue, but also provides the right solution at the right time.
Why not generate your energy whenever the need arises, when solar radiations are present all over the world? Have you ever imagined producing solar energy not only at a fixed location but producing it when you are moving through your clothes? If not, then researchers are working on this idea and are developing solar fabrics. The vision behind solar fabrics is to introduce solar power in each fiber. The solar fibers or solar filament can be embedded in your clothing including winter coats, tee shirts, or any other type of clothing that can keep you warm, charge your phone, and can also provide energy to others in case of need when you are moving. Solar fabricated clothing can help you in saving the investment on the solar panel. U.S. Army projects are investing in this purpose to create a solar-powered tent.
Solar Water Purifiers
Solar power can not only provide energy to your home but it can also help in cleaning the unsafe water in the parts of the world where drinking water is unsafe. According to the World Health Organization, about 2 billion people which makes ¼ of humanity are forced to drink contaminated water. Nevertheless, with the advancement in solar technology, this problem can be resolved. Our solar-powered desalination system has been developed by the researchers at Massachusetts Institute of technology and in China. This system can be helping provide 7 litres of drinkable water per hour. This is for each square meter of the solar region. Let’s just say if the system is 100 meters square, then it would provide about 700 litres of drinkable water per hour. The capital city of Nigeria which is Lagos, has more than eight hours of sunshine, according to this the amount of drinkable water per day would be 5753 litres. Humans should be drinking about 2.7 two 3.7 litres per day of water which also includes the water in food which is equal to 20% of fluid intake, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The potential of making water drinkable with the help of sunlight is high and then helps millions of people all around the world to have access to the most important resource. It will not only help in providing Clearwater but the Clearwater would also help in eliminating deadly diseases which spread because of drinking contaminated water. This solar energy for the purification of water has already been implanted in Kenya by a non-profit organization famous by the name give power.
So with the new technology, it has become possible to wear solar cells but is it possible for vehicles? Can vehicles or cars where a layer of solar tech that will help them in absorbing sun rays and convert them into energy? The answer to this question is yes because this is the future. A plane has been created by a British company called a solar airplane. The wingspan of sun powered machine is 35 meters and every last centimeter is highly covered by lightweight solar panels which help in keeping the plane flying during the day. Meanwhile, power is stored in the battery during the day and is used at night. In February of 2020, this plane completed its first flight quite successfully at an Australian Air Force test range. With the first successful flight, the future seems to be bright.
Perovskite Crystal Coated Panels
Perovskite is a mineral of titanium calcium oxide, and it is quite light in weight, and it is a group of compounds that have the same structure. This compound is cheaper and more efficient than silicon which makes it an excellent alternative for solar panel technology. It is not that we should replace silicon rather they both can be combined to enhance productivity. Experiments are being carried out to combine both silicone and perovskite for the conversion of solar light into energy. The combination has increased the efficiency of cells from 20% to 27.3%. This technology is becoming popular in many countries all across the globe.
Insoight Panel Coating
Insolight is a technology that makes use of hexagon lenses in protective glass. The efficiency of this technology is 30%.
Why Solar Energy?
Solar energy or solar power has become the need of the hour. We all know that natural resources are in limited number and soon they are going to end. So it is of utmost importance that we should rely on other sources other than natural resources for the betterment of the planet. Industrialization in recent years has contributed to the greenhouse and global warming. the impact of global warming is now visible as we can see extreme weather conditions in different regions of the world that are creating a which seems irreversible. Therefore, it is important to move towards solar power instead of fossil fuels and resources and make this planet a better place to live.
The Future of Solar Power
With recent new technologies, and the integration of different technologies the future of solar power looks bright. Back in the years’ solar power was generated only by rooftop panels. However, due to the recent advancements mentioned above solar power has become lighter, more flexible, and can be applied anywhere. With all these technologies you can easily visit other cities, and you can buy food from a solar-powered food cart. Can travel in cars powered by solar energy. You can charge your phone from your solar-powered clothes. This is going to be the future in the next few years. Apart from this, there are other innovative residential solar technologies in development for a better and bright future.
Solar energy can provide substantial amounts of cheap and green electricity that do not contribute in global warming and safer for health. Because of the new technology and continuous effort for improvement, solar photovoltaic cells have become even more versatile and dynamic. There are various practical applications of solar power from architecture to street lighting to the charging of phones from clothes. All these examples are clear indications that the future is going to be solar-powered.