Turbines Tree

The use of Personal Solar Panels

Solar power is the cleanest, greenest and most abundant form of alternative available today. A solar panel does not need to be plugged into anything other than a battery and new generations of solar panels, also known as photovoltaic modules, are robust and sturdy.

As the technology has advanced designers, adventurers and urban explorers have incorporated the new technology in innovative ways. Here are some examples of how the same technology that keeps satellites pulsing and beeping along in orbit can make sure you are never caught with a flat battery again.

How do Solar PV Panels work?

It is worth summarising how photovoltaic technology works. Solar panels take advantage of what is known as the photovoltaic effect, in which certain materials generate electricity when exposed to solar radiation. The electricity which is generated is passed through an inverter and can be passed on to a battery, where it can be drawn from as needed.

New Generation Solar PV Technology

Newer generations of solar panels are thinner, lighter and even flexible. There is still a place for the traditional solar module – the bulky panels that are becoming a familiar sight on rooftops across the world, where a high demand for power exists but the new technology has made solar panels an affordable personal technology. In particular, new generation solar technology can be laminated onto fabrics.

Solar Powered Outdoor Equipment

Explorers and travellers to out of the way parts of the world have been using solar technology to charge their satellite phones and GPS units for years. They have also proved useful in the aftermath of natural disasters, field research and emergency power at home. Most of this equipment, however, was expensive and fragile and in some cases home-made to do a specific task. It therefore comes as no surprise that the majority of new technology for solar panels are being field tested by campers, hikers and boaters. Backpacks and jackets featuring built in solar panels are becoming an affordable means to charge your equipment on the move.

Coming to a store near you…

Fashion houses around the world have begun to integrate solar panels into designer clothing. These fashions will allow the user to look good and charge their phone or mp3 player at the same time. This technology is much sought after as power hungry devices are evolving faster than battery technology, so a solar jacket might be just the thing to keep you talking longer. In future you might be shopping for a shirt made of conductive cotton and ultra-thin solar films which will look, feel and drape just like a normal fabric.

Solar technology aims to revolutionise the world. The energy of the sun is free, abundant and cheap to exploit and will become even more prominent in your daily lives as photovoltaic technology advances. Personal solar panels, courtesy of flexible and light weight modules, laminated or sown into clothing or equipment could spell the end of the dreaded flat battery.

This article was written by Synergy, Gas & Electricity Providers.

1 Comment to The use of Personal Solar Panels

  1. Gaz's Gravatar Gaz
    August 7, 2011 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of the solar jacket


Leave a Reply

Download Our Free E-book

Ebook - 50 Energy Efficiency Measures