At this point in time, solar panels are not an uncommon sight whether you’re walking through your neighborhood or driving through a business complex. They’re an efficient method for generating energy and aren’t harming the environment in the same way as other energy sources.
As the process for building and installing solar panels has become more streamlined, their uses have expanded past just sitting on top of homes and businesses. Keep reading for some unexpected uses of solar technology.
Solar Powered Cars
We’re not talking about Teslas or other types of electric cars that require a solar-powered charging station. This is a type of technology that builds solar panels directly into the body of the vehicle. So far, most of this technology has only been used to power specific parts of the car, like the climate control system, but they have figured out how to connect the panels to the car’s battery so that it runs more efficiently than before.
These backpacks have photovoltaic generators on them which enable them to supply low voltage power to be used for charging cell phones, computers, tablets, and other mobile electronic devices.
This technology is perfect for those who spend a lot of time outside and have restricted access to outlets. For instance, this would be great for someone hiking long distances or for kids in remote areas that have to walk miles to and from school.
This is one of the most innovative and interesting uses of solar panels that we’ve seen so far. In the mountain towns of Viganella and Rjukan, they see minimal sun, and not always because it isn’t shining. They sit in valleys with high mountain walls that block most of the sun throughout the year, making them relatively dark and dreary towns to live in.
This changed in 2006 when the town of Viganella installed a massive computer controlled, and solar generated mirror to redirect sunlight back down into the village.
The uses for solar panels are endless and will continue to be this way as long as we never stop innovating.