As the world continues its advance toward a sustainable future, more ways of applying renewable energy are popping up. Solar power is no exception. Even if you think solar panels are rigid and clunky, there are ways to get creative when deploying them. You know what they say, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Let’s therefore take a look at some nifty ways through which solar panels have been used.
Creative Canal canopies
California is piloting a program that will see spans of canal covered by a canopy of solar panels. Called Project Nexus, this will feature mile-long stretches to see the potential and benefits of a larger-scale project. Apart from the benefits of supplying power, the canopy during summer might also reduce water evaporation by an estimated 1-2%. As a result, the water conservation can help provide for the water needs of a couple of million citizens.
In addition, it’s also a great exercise in the dual use of land. Of course, while this is a first in the US, there are already countries who have previously installed solar panels over canals. One such example is India.
Portable folding solar panels
While there is an importance in scaling up solar panel systems, there is also a case for more portable applications. To begin with this is where portable products like folding solar panels come in. For example, they are great for powering up small electrical gadgets or charging mobile devices. In addition, they come in handy in outdoor activities such as hiking or camping. Moreover, it also shows that creative use of solar energy works across a wide range of scales and applications.
Another creative idea is for solar-powered airports
Here’s another creative innovation in India. An entire airport—the Cochin International Airport—has been made to run on solar energy. This was done through a solar plant near the airport complex, and it encompasses 45 acres of land, featuring 46,150 solar panels.
Actually, the plant does not rely on battery storage alone. Nevertheless, it supplies sufficient power using a connection to the power grid. As a result, the airport is energy sufficient and any excess power generation is fed directly back to the grid. In addition, the project has already seen a few expansions, giving it an 80MW total capacity. As it stands, it is a great example of the use of effective and creative airport buffer zones.
Skins for solar panels
We are all familiar with the custom skins on laptops and phones to make them look more appealing. In the same way, there are creative companies out there developing solar skins for our rooftops. Generally, these are translucent thin-film skins that wrap panels, while displaying a custom image. The image can match your roof’s color and pattern. Alternatively, one can simply choose a specific image to display. This opens up avenues for design, marketing, or simple fun customization.
It’s always interesting to see the different creative ways that people come up with. The same goes for solar power systems. As technologies and products improve, more and more ways become available. Engineers and designers can really get creative when it comes to implementing plans for solar products and infrastructure. In brief, it’s even more exciting to see the designs that are in the pipeline as the drive to sustainability accelerates.
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The US Utility Sector is experiencing massive power demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruptions could occur at any time.
With a properly installed Solar power supply:
- Your electricity feed will remain secure
- If the power goes down, you won’t be left in the dark
- All essential appliances will continue to work
- Wi-fi and internet connections will remain operational
- You will be unaffected by the inevitable increases in utility costs
- Remain safe and secure while continuing to work from home
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