Imagine airplanes powered by sunlight, solar systems that automatically adjust to weather conditions and bricks that light up at night. Renewable energy resources are powering our homes and businesses, but technological advancements have made it possible for them to be even more versatile. Solar energy is now keeping planes in the sky, tracking the sun to increase efficiency and lighting our home walkways. The solar technology industry continues to expand as the number of potential applications increases. With these cool new solar powered gadgets, the future of clean energy technology is brighter than the sun.
In 2016, the two men who founded Solar Impulse completed the first round-the-world flight in an airplane powered exclusively by solar energy. The monumental flight began in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi and finished in July 2016 after crossing continents and oceans without using a drop of fossil fuel. With an average speed of just 45 miles per hour, Solar Impulse 2 isn’t the world’s fastest plane, but it did complete a record-setting journey.
After setting the world record for the longest-duration solo flight, crossing the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Hawaii, the team was grounded. The flight took over five days, causing the plane batteries overheat. The damage took almost a year to repair. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg divided their trip into 17 legs. The historic flight is groundbreaking in both the aviation and solar technology industries.
Solar panels captured the sun’s rays during the daytime and kept the plane’s battery charged. The aircraft is powered by 17,000 solar cells that connect to onboard batteries. While flying during the day time, the pilots could soar to 29,000 feet. At night, the airplane would fly at lower altitudes to conserve energy. The two pilots took turns flying in the cramped, unheated, unpressurized space. In addition to the pilots, a team of experts in both solar technology and aviation kept everything together. They helped organize the journey, maintain the aircraft and coordinate stops. The team views their success as a win for all renewable energy resources.
Solar smartflower POP
Smartflower POP technology unfolds solar panels into the shape of a flower. This device claims to capture up to 40 percent more energy than conventional solar panels because it follows the sun as it moves across the sky. Secured to the ground, the petals fan out and orient themselves towards the sun to absorb more solar rays to power your home or business. The all-in-one system automatically folds down at night and in high winds. It’s also relatively portable and can be unbolted from its anchor and moved if necessary. With smart cooling and cleaning technology, smartflower POP is one of the most efficient solar energy production systems available.
Solar landscape bricks
Solar powered bricks will power your landscape project with clean, renewable energy. These bricks are placed along pathways like regular pavers. During the day they collect sunlight to automatically light up at night for up to eight hours. The bricks are sturdy, weather-resistant, and are easy to install without complicated wires. Enhance your curb appeal along entryways, driveways, and walkways with solar bricks to light your way home.
The possibilities for solar energy are expanding as the technology becomes more applicable and more available. People are now using renewable resources to power airplanes, homes and landscaping projects. As the industry continues to expand, the future of solar remains bright.