Submitted by Andrew on Thu, 11/12/2014 - 07:50
The Latest In Sustainable Technologies

New and exciting sustainable technologies are popping up every day – and that’s great! 
So, what can you expect to be making the headlines in the not too distant future?

Join us in taking a glimpse into our mystical eight ball as we shed some light on two of planet earth’s most promising upcoming gizmos.

Plug and Play PV system

The clever bunch at The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) have come up with this one and it’s sure to change the way solar panels are installed going forward.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, the Plug and Play System is described by Fraunhofer CSE as ‘a holistic approach to residential PV that will dramatically help reduce the total install costs of solar electricity by 2020, from $4.00 per Watt installed to $1.50 per Watt.’

Basically, the system uses innovative technologies that make the panels much simpler overall – simpler to adopt, simpler to install, simpler to inspect.

According to Fraunhofer CSE, ‘Once commercially available, homeowners will be able to go to their local building supply stores, purchase the PV systems, and install them in less than 10 hours — as easily as installing a washer/dryer combination.’

So, when can you expect to have these cutting edge solar panels on your roof?

The project’s next focus will be on the demonstration of a commercial-ready system some time in 2015. So the wait shouldn’t be too long.

Transparent Solar Panels

Unlike solar panels that have claimed to be transparent in the past, this game-changing creation is the real deal.

Researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator that can turn any window or sheet of glass into a PV solar cell.

Imagine powering your smartphone on solar energy or fuelling an entire high rise building on sustainable, clean energy. The possibilities are endless!

According to Richard Lunt, who led the research, the team are confident that the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings.

The solar panels use a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC) that absorbs and transforms non-visible wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light into a type of usable infrared light.

This emitted infrared light is then guided to the edge of the glass where conventional PV strips convert it into electricity.

Obvious potential exists for the transparent solar panels at both an industrial and commercial level.

Best of all, the researchers are confident that the technology can be scaled down to consumer devices while remaining affordable.

Bring it on, we say.

Speak to you soon,