After what looked to be a down year for solar panels and solar energy in general, has proven to be quite the opposite. Three new amazing solar technology advancements are making believers out of doubters.
- Roll-up Solar Panels — As you can imagine, roll-up solar panels could change the way we use solar panels completely. Developed by Revenogen in the United Kingdom, the technology has been tested on the remote island of Flat Holm where the panels provide the energy for the four scientists who live on the island. Although this is not quite ready for mainstream home use, homeowners can someday imagine being able to roll out panels on a sunny afternoon into the backyard to save money on their power bills.
- Concrete Solar Roof — This recently developed product out of the Swiss Federal institute of Technology of Zurich is a curved concrete roof that also acts as a solar panel. The lattice work is about 7.5 meters tall and uses concrete to help insulate a group of heating and cooling coils. The system is combined with photovoltaic cells to create a carbon neutral environment. Although it’s not financially viable for homes at the moment, cheaper production materials could make it less expensive.
- Solar Paint — Most of us have heard about rooftop solar panels and roof shingles made of solar panels, but the future may be solar power integrated into the exterior wall surfaces of a home. Solar paints have been in development for a while and have made huge advancements in recent months. Developed at the Royal Institute of Technology of Melbourne, the paint uses water in the air to turn the paint on your walls into a clean energy power plant. Though they don’t expect the product to be commercially viable for the next five years, its low cost of production could offer a cheap way in the future to make any house green.
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