2022 new solar technology — where are we headed?
The majority of people immediately conjure up images of solar panels on rooftops or at a desert solar farm when they hear the term “solar electricity.” And with good reason: Up until now, rooftop and traditional utility-scale solar panels have dominated the solar market.
But there are currently a number of innovative new solar panel technologies that are either presently available or in development. These cutting-edge innovations will transform the way we think about not only solar energy but also energy generation in general. Solar power no longer needs to be boring-looking or take up a lot of roof space or land. Continue reading to learn more.
#1 Floating solar farms (aka ‘floatovoltaics’)
Every day, silicon panels get more affordable and effective. According to experts, photovoltaic panels offer even greater efficiency and a variety of other advantages when installed on reservoirs and other water bodies.
Photovoltaic solar power systems called “floatovoltaics” are designed to float on dams, reservoirs, and other bodies of water.
Massive amounts of electricity may be produced by floating solar farms without utilizing expensive land or real estate. Compared to land-based solar panels, floating photovoltaic panels are less expensive to install. Additionally, studies have shown that the cooling impact of water increases floating solar panels’ power output by up to 10%.
Floating solar farms not only produce clean solar energy but also aid with water management. They lessen water loss due to evaporation because they restrict airflow and prevent sunlight from shining on the water’s surface. Additionally, since no harmful algae are produced, floating solar farms reduce the cost of water filtration. Additionally, the water beneath solar panels lowers energy waste and keeps them clean.
At the Far Niente winery in Napa Valley, the first 175 kWh floating panel system for commercial use in California was constructed in 2008.
#2 BIPV solar technology
As the name suggests, building-integrated photovoltaics are integrated into the structure of buildings as roofs, canopies, curtain walls, facades, and skylight systems. BIPV solar panels, in contrast to conventional solar PV panels, can enhance rather than detract from the aesthetics of a structure.
Economic considerations are important for solar customers as well, of course. The good news is that homeowners can save money on building supplies and electricity prices thanks to BIPV solar panel systems. BIPV can help you avoid paying more for solar panel mounting systems by replacing conventional building materials.
The following advantages result from using BIPV technology to the building’s façade, atrium, terrace floor, and canopies:
- Increased energy efficiency
- High thermal and sound insulation
- Clean and free power output from the sun
- Decreased O&M costs
- Zero carbon footprint
Similar to traditional architectural glasses, photovoltaic PV glasses used as building materials operate as an energy-generating device by letting natural light into residences and workplaces.
#3 Solar skins
Solar skins are a novel PV technology to integrate custom designs into solar panel systems. The solar skin technology is similar to the ad wraps displayed on bus windows.
The producer of solar skins, Sistine, is putting the technology to the test at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory to boost its effectiveness. Due to improvements in selective light filtration, solar thin-film skins continue to operate at high efficiency. Solar skins filter the sunlight that hits them so that it can reach the solar cells underneath. As a result, it offers solar energy while also displaying the customized image.
These custom imprinted pictures that are integrated into solar panels can perfectly match your homes’ rooftops or grassy lawns.
Using solar skin panels in government or commercial buildings can be advantageous. They can be configured to show company logos, commercials, a nation’s flag, and more.
Additionally, solar skins give the panels a really nice appearance by using rail-free mounting systems, sitting lower, having a smooth finish, and concealing metal components. Sistine’s SolarSkins may be the answer you’re looking for if panel aesthetics are preventing you from adopting solar.
In addition to these advantages, Sistine Solar lets you to check the status of your system on your phone around-the-clock. Additionally, it recommends the appropriate treatments at the appropriate times and sends you alerts in the event of any problems or solar energy interruptions.
Solar skin panel costs are around 10% higher than those of conventional panels, which is a drawback.
#4 Solar fabric
Since solar radiation is present on the entire earth, why not produce your own energy wherever it is needed? Imagine being able to generate solar energy not only at a set site, but also while moving about by using your own clothing.
With the goal of incorporating solar power into each strand, researchers are creating solar fabrics. You can incorporate these solar filaments into your t-shirts, winter jackets, and other apparel to stay warm, charge your phone, and meet other demands while you’re out and about.
Researchers have sought to combine solar fabric and solar panels in a number of applications, such as:
- Building facades that provide both shade and power
- Awnings that lighten up streetlights, and
- Curtains that eliminate power consumption from the grid
You can reduce the cost of mounting and installing solar panels by using solar-fabricated household clothes.
Companies that make solar cells are also focusing on the US Army initiative with the goal of developing solar-powered robotic tents. The likelihood of a world in which practically everything is powered by the sun is increasing as solar costs continue to decline.
#5 Photovoltaic solar noise barriers (PVNB)
Everyone in the US has long been concerned about the noise from the highways. Nearly 3,000 miles of traffic noise barriers have been constructed by 48 states to address this problem. Noise barriers have traditionally been built with the sole purpose of creating inexpensive barriers that effectively perform noise reduction duties. However, the US Department of Energy now wants to combine noise reduction with environmentally friendly power production.
Given the extensive use of noise barriers in the US, there is a potential for 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of yearly solar energy production from these barriers. This roughly equates to 37,000 houses’ annual electricity consumption.
The future of solar looks bright
Until recently, solar energy could only be produced using rooftop or ground-mounted panels. But because of all the above-mentioned developments, solar energy is going to becoming lighter, more adaptable, and more widely used.
Imagine having access to all this technology and visiting a different city. You can purchase food from a food cart driven by solar energy, consume it while driving down a highway powered by solar energy, and charge your phone using solar-powered clothing. The near future will look like this!
In fact, there are a ton of different cutting-edge residential solar technologies under research or already in use in 2022. Perovskite solar cells, which may soon be used to make solar paint, are among the most promising recent technological advancements.
What brand-new solar panel technology will completely change how electricity is produced? Ratings