Innovation in solar power technology seems to be constant, with fantastic new ideas and devices challenging the way we use the sun’s infinite energy in our daily lives.
While we’re often hearing about international solar energy breakthroughs, a young Australian has captured attention with new technology that has plenty of potential.
Joseph Giorgio, a student at Wollongong University’s Intelligent Polymer Research Institute has been working on a solar panel unlike the ones we’re accustomed to today.
Lightweight and paper-thin, the panels are designed to be low-cost, versatile and easily transported. Giorgio’s vision is to create a panel that can, basically, be used wherever you want.
‘You could roll it on your roof. You could take it camping with you. You could put it on the back of consumer electronics… it’s lightweight and it works indoors. There’s no minimum light intensity needed. They come in different colours too, so they can be aesthetically pleasing’ Mr Giorgio said.
What we really like is how this type of technology could be applied on a day-to-day basis. Think smartphone batteries that never go flat or laptop batteries that can be used virtually anywhere.
In similar news, Changing Environments – a Massachusetts-based tech start-up has created a public bench which uses solar power to re-charge the mobile phones for Boston residents.
Dubbed ‘Soofa’ – the clever new invention gives public users access to solar energy and USB charging. Aside from this, the public benches will eventually monitor a range of environmental information, such as noise, air quality and pedestrian traffic too.
Changing Environments’ founders – three women from Germany – a designer, an electrical engineer and a marketing expert are hoping to make solar power more accessible and integrated for general public use. While more than a dozen Soofas have already been installed in Boston, it’s anticipated that the technology will eventually be adopted by other cities and countries.
What’s clear is that as solar power technology breakthroughs keep up, we will continue to see more panels pop up in daily life.
The difference is that they won’t be confined to our roofs.
Speak to you soon,