We have heard of devices powered by solar energy. Solar powered wristwatches have been in the market for a long time now. However, an innovation in wearable solar devices has changed the world entirely. Solar textiles is the new thing in the market introduced to the world by Marianne Fairbanks, a textile designer and Trisha Andrew, a chemist.
These two geniuses created and stitched tiny solar panels into curtains and car seat covers. The curtains providing ample heat during the winters serve the purpose well. The car seats heat up during the winters and cool down during summer. Making the driver and passengers comfortable during a ride.
A higher demand for solar batteries has forced manufacturers to produce power-storing batteries. These batteries are the alternate to the standard dry batteries we use at home. The number of batteries we use at home in our TV remotes, toys, and wall clocks are uncountable. It is a household item and we constantly look for ones that can last longest. The longevity matters because no one wants to go through the hassle of changing it every now and then. Nevertheless, we still do. Tesla Powerwall came to the rescues by creating lithium-ion ion batteries. These batteries are rechargeable and a one-time investment.
This concept of solar plus storage and off-grid solar is drawing attention across the world. Even though manufacturers are working hard to meet this demand, these batteries are expensive. As the supply starts to meet the demand for solar batteries, the prices are expected to fall considerably. As for Tesla, they offer two kinds of batteries; one is designed for use at home and the other to be used commercially.
These are solar panels called tracking mounts that are placed on the ground and follow the sunlight. They move with the movement of the sun soaking up more energy than the average solar panels. Mounted a few feet away from each other on the ground for maximum energy storage. Homeowners who have the space and capacity are opting for solar mounts. This is a viable option for clean energy.
Voices have been raised for the use of clean energy and rightfully so. Companies are constantly developing solar trackers that can be installed for households and commercially. It is safe to say that every solar panel will soon have a tracker installed in it. Renewable, green energy is the need of the hour that is being served by major organizations around the world.
Efficiency of Solar Panels
Let us talk about the efficiency of solar panels. Over the last few years, solar panel manufacturers have worked a great deal to reach the top. Capturing a new market is an opportunity no company wants to miss. This constant race to the top has resulted in maximum efficiency of solar panels. Manufacturers work harder each day to give their consumers a better product.
When it comes to the affordability of the solar panels, there have been improvements in the market. Researchers from Switzerland and U.S. have created solar panels that are 20% more efficient. Although the efficiency is high, the cost remains the same making it the best option in the market. These breakthroughs have been the result of two years of hard work.
When you tap a field of science, the work never stops. Further study on the efficiency of the solar panels conducted in MIT shortly after. The researchers were able to double the efficiency by capturing the heat that goes to waste from the panels. When sunlight falls on a solar panel, light is absorbed while heat is wasted and bounced off from it. The thermal energy harnessed into the panel is able to increase the panel’s efficiency to a higher percentage. This can also mean that the prices will go further down.
Solar Thermal Fuel
The biggest drawback of using solar power is its inability of storing energy for 24 hours. There have been improvements, great ones, but it still does not fulfil the need of its users. Batteries, however, are better at storing energy but they are not the mainstream solution. Professors at MIT have come up with the perfect solution for storing energy. The best option according to them are Solar Thermal Fuels.
These fuels work just like a normal battery. The energy from the sunlight is stored in like a charge and it releases when impelled. Since it is a fuel, it is in liquid form. This means that the heat from the fuel will cool down after sometime. It works quite simply by capturing the heat instead of storing energy. The solid-state form of a solar thermal fuel was recently manufactured which can store energy. These are placed on surfaces of a car that attracts most sunlight. Also read Homeowners and Solar