The solar industry is experiencing tremendous growth around the world as people prioritize sustainability and apply new technology to this clean energy resource. Take a minute to learn more about the exciting new developments in the solar space.
Floating solar panels
Off the coast of China floats the world’s largest solar power plant. China is a global leader in solar energy. High levels of smog and pollution have helped motivate China to pursue clean energy solutions. Their latest achievement is a floating farm of solar panels. The panels are floating above water that’s between four and 10 meters in depth. The lake where this power plant is pretty useless after years of mining operations in the area. Now, the lake has a purpose. The floating solar panels are connected to a power grid in nearby Huainan, China.
Floating solar power plants are a promising development in the renewable energy industry. One of the main concerns for solar panel installations is the amount of land required. By installing solar panels in unusable water, areas with limited space will still be able to produce clean energy. In addition to the space benefits, the cool water increases the solar system’s efficiency. The water naturally regulates the temperature of the solar panels and the surrounding environment, which improves electricity generation and could increase the lifespan of the system.
For more information about floating solar panels, check out the full story here.
Extremely thin, light solar cells
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are transforming the solar industry with their innovative photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic (PV) cells, or solar cells, convert sunlight into electricity. Today, these are most often seen in large panels made out of silicon and other semi-conductive materials. The future of solar, however, looks smaller and lighter.
Vladimir Bulovic and his dedicated team of experts at MIT have announced their version of extremely lightweight solar PV cells. These high-tech PV cells are “the thinnest, lightest, solar cells ever produced.” How thin and light are they? A soap bubble is able to support the weight of these new, mini solar cells. Bulovic’s extraordinary solar cells can also be semi-transparent. Imagine a skyscraper covered in these tiny, transparent solar cells. The application possibilities for this technology are as expansive as the galaxy.
Click here for more information about the tiny solar PV cells making a big impact.
NASA shoots for the stars
NASA is shooting for the stars with their new mission to explore the sun. The air and space experts are sending an unmanned probe into space in 2018. The goal of this mission is to get closer to the sun than ever before. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is built to withstand scorching temperatures and intense radiation. Covered in thick solar shields, the probe will hopefully illuminate some of the mysteries surrounding the sun.
Read more about this mission and the bright individuals behind it.