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Solar Power – The Future

We live an apartment building in Mumbai that is over 50 years old. Therefore, it is not possible to get other residents to agree to installing solar panels for the building. Though we are aware of the high costs for initial installation, my husband and I have decided that if we ever decide to build/buy our own house, we will invest in solar panels to make sure that our home is energy-efficient. This is a sponsored post about making solar power more affordable.

 

solarenergie

As renewable energy sources are becoming more central in meeting the world’s energy needs, designers and engineers are focusing more and more on developing the technology behind solar power. There is also more funding being made available for improving these technologies.

One of the main disadvantages of solar energy is the low conversion ratio between the amount of sun radiation and the subsequent amount of electrical energy that is produced. A company based in California have concentrated the sunlight to make a 43.5% ratio, which is a vast improvement from the average of 20% which we currently have. The efficiency of commercially available PV solar panels has increased very slowly over the last 10 years unfortunately.

Another disadvantage is the high cost of the initial installation. Scientists are trying to find ways of creating the same or better efficiency ration but using cheaper products which would mean that solar power is more affordable for the entire world.

Konarka, a plastic solar cell make has developed a transparent solar PV cell using organic nanotechnology. Its efficiency is about 9% and can be incorporated into many types of materials such as plastic and canvas, e.g. tents and clothing.

Català: Planta de concentració fotovoltaica a ...
Català: Planta de concentració fotovoltaica a Torregrossa (Lleida) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst there appears to be no realistic alternative to PV solar panels, there are developments in these, and recently added to the market are flexible PV solar panels, which give a wider range of areas where they can be fitted. Also currently being developed is a PV cell paint, which means that it would be possible to be applied to cars and building etc.

V3Solar is claiming to have created a new device dubbed the ‘spin cell’. Its rotating motion keeps the device cool and therefore prevents it from over heating, thus allowing more intensely focused sunlight. They are claiming to improve the efficiency of the PV cells by 20% over standard solar panels. It is also in a conical shape which allows the sun to hit the panels at infinite angles.

Recently in Australia, AGL Solar has got funds approved for installation of Australia’s biggest solar energy plants which will include 2 million photovoltaic solar panels at two sites in the NSW. This is an investment of $450 million and will help supply 50K homes with electricity in coming years.

Former NASA engineer, John Mankins, commissioned by NASA to investigate sending solar energy from space to the earth has invented a cocktail glass shaped solar power satellite. His technology means that the energy from the sun is absorbed by millions of curved, mirror like pieces which move around to collect as much sunlight as possible, and then transmits this energy to power stations which then dispatch to customers. The inside of the SPS-ALPHA would also have PV panels converting solar radiation into microwaves which would also be beamed down to earth. He is claiming that it could be supplying a third of humanity’s energy requirements by 2025.

With the growing world population and ever increasing need for renewable energy sources, the development of these technologies is vital.  Solar technology has improved a lot over the last few years and seeing the introduction of solar powered road signs and potentially cars.  It is only inevitable that these developments will continue at a great speed.

Author Bio: John is a professional copywriter and he is passionate about exploring more about renewable energy sources and sustainability. He has recently worked with AGL Solar Energy Australia to write a series of articles on renewable energies. AGL has been a trusted energy company for 175 years. AGL is one of Australia’s leading renewable energy companies. Their commitment to renewable energy means they know solar PV and solar hot water and how to source cost-effective solar solutions for our customers.

Photo credit: Fotolia

7 Comments

  1. Rachna Rachna October 5, 2013

    I have a solar water heater in my house. It is a huge panel that we got almost a decade back. We never use electricity to heat water for bathing. It saves our bills and also helps us do our green bit. We also have solar rechargers for batteries. Going forward, I am interested in incorporating more of solar power in our lives.

  2. Usha Menon Usha Menon October 5, 2013

    Corinne, this is a very informative post. In India very few people understand the economics of installing solar power gadgets. With more improvement in technology it may become more popular.

  3. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury October 5, 2013

    Even though there are incentives for using solar energy, people are so tough to convince. They don’t realize how quickly they’re using up natural resources. At this rate, there aren’t going to be any left for the next generation.

    Loved the post!

  4. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson October 4, 2013

    As more demand for solar power is needed the cost will come down for the panels. It has definitely made them more affordable. They do have some programs in place that pays for installation and the panels. Not sure how much is saved by this. I have an older house with no air-conditioning as it is really not needed other than it would be nice maybe 5 days a year.

    In California there is not only a lot of solar power but there are big windmills in areas that get enough wind to generate them. They have expanded a lot lately. It seems each year that they are adding more and covering the hills with them. I was watching a show and they were talking about building some off shore. With the wind constantly moving in the ocean they could actually generate more power from that source. I suppose it is better than building oil rigs off shore.

    Mary

  5. Kajal Kajal October 3, 2013

    Even though solar energy can be used in so many ways, still in India the technology required to make that happen is not absolutely great. In hostel, we used to have solar heaters and there was a huge panel setup to accommodate the residents, however it was such a failure, especially during the winter season. I don’t know if they have a solution to that!

  6. Proactive Indian Proactive Indian October 3, 2013

    Unfortunately, even newly constructed apartments do not have solar power systems or solar water heating systems installed at the time of construction.
    This is a waste of a renewable energy resource that is available in abundance in India.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | October 3, 2013

      Isn’t that so sad, Proactive Indian? We’d rather invest in huge panels of glass and crystal chandeliers – at least, that’s what I see in the new ‘posh’ apartments these days! 🙁

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