Five Amazing Solar Technologies of 2016
New and innovative inventions are coming out all the time, be they a bit silly or inherently useful for one purpose or another. Solar power is becoming a very viable option when thinking of making the switch from a traditional power source to a much cleaner, more efficient source of energy. Solar power is far more plentiful and can be relied on to replenish itself with each new day. At the rate that fossil fuels are being consumed, it is likely that in another two or three generations they will be all but used up, or so experts say.
In any case, new inventions that rely on solar power are becoming the next trend that consumers are waiting for, and present a clean, more-efficient line of products that can be used for years to come.
1. The Solar-powered boat
This idea for this invention is accredited to Professor Moritz von Jacobi, despite the fact that he experimented with electric boats and had nothing to do with the inclusion of solar panels that would come as a later feature. In fact it was in the 1980s to 1990s when solar-powered boats were first seen in Germany. The form of the few solar-powered boats that are in operation is quite different, as the Solar Sailor, a ferry down in Australia, employs the wing design, which allows the solar panels situated on its wing to catch and absorb even more sunlight.
The use of the solar-powered boat is ingenious as ferries and even ocean-liners could utilize this technology to carry people and goods over great distances without the continued reliance upon diesel fuel. In this way it could help save vast amounts of money and materials and prove kinder to the ecosystem.
2. Solar-powered grill
Despite not being an overall new technology, a retired MIT professor by the name of Wilson devised came up with this invention after witnessing the inefficient way that people were forced to cook their food with conventional solar cookers. He saw that the only way to cook with a solar-powered cooking device would be to sit in the hot, burning sun to gain the benefits of its heat.
What he came up with was a grill that could harness the light energy of the sun and allow it to be used when needed. This device can store the energy it gathers for up to 25 hours before dissipating, and is a technological marvel that can allow individuals to cook their food without having to expose themselves to the harsh sunlight. It can also cut down on the fuels that are often needed for a conventional grill, thereby eliminating waste. More than that, this grill can be operated at night time in order to make it easier on those preparing the food.
3. Solar-powered tile
While it’s not entirely known who is responsible for the emergence of solar tiles, the benefit they bring to a home is far too obvious to ignore. While big, bulky solar panels were, and still are, a very effective way to save money on electricity and take control of the power bill, they are large, clunky, and can seriously detract from the look of a person’s home.
Solar tiles are far less obtrusive and can be molded to fit the roof of a home, providing a pleasing aesthetic look that can add value to a house. Their effectiveness has been seen to actually rival that of solar panels and in some cases prove even greater as with the absence of a large frame they can be made to cover a much wider surface, thereby providing more chance to catch sunlight and convert it into a longer-lasting supply of energy. Solar tiles are by far a superior product not just for looks but for the overall benefit they can bring to a home in terms of power output.
Also, they are much easier to remove and replace. Instead of having to take an entire panel down, one needs only replace a single tile once it is damaged. This cuts back on cost and materials quite a bit and can appeal to customers who don’t want to have a big, ungainly solar panel stuck to the top of their home.
4. Solar-powered generator
The earliest form of the solar-powered generator came in the 19th century when Augustin Mouchot developed a steam engine that could run on solar power. The original design was immense, bulky, and required far more power to run for a short time. The generators of the current day are still big and bulky, but are much more improved in terms of size and their output.
Most people have had at least one generator or more in their lives, and have found that as great a boon as it can be for their purposes it requires a constant supply of fuel to work. The solar-powered generator can absorb and convert solar energy with maximum efficiency and will not need harmful materials to operate. This generator is a revolutionary tool that can be used to all but eliminate the need for a fuel-guzzling generator. Usually created in a manageable size, it can easily be put in a person’s garage, outside their home, or anywhere else that is convenient.
5. Solar-powered oven
Horace de Sausser, a Swiss physicist, came up with the idea of a solar oven back in 1767, but likely had no idea that his idea would one day become so popular. A solar oven utilizes sunlight to heat meals. The solar ovens of the current day are fairly cheap and easy solutions to preparing meals when one is located in parts of the world where electricity is not available. There’s no fuel required for these devices as they run entirely on energy converted from sunlight.
In areas where there is no electricity, solar power is often needed to a degree that borders on urgent. By using these devices it becomes far more possible for people to cook what they need to and not have to rely on burning materials for fires or resorting to other measures.