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10 Innovative Uses for Solar Power Technology

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 09/11/2007 in
Updated 02/28/2018

I thought I’d do a little sniffing around this evening and compile some of the most interesting and innovative uses for solar power technology to date. If you have more or others, please submit them!

#10 – Bolivia’s Solar Power Project

bolivia solar power project

Talk about power off the grid, this installation project in a remote area of Bolivia is funded by a local NGO and installed by British undergraduate students.

#9 – Solar Powered Sedan

solar powered sedanHow about a solar powered sedan? Canadian engineer Steve Lapp managed to eke 10% more fuel economy out of this Prius.

#8 – Solar Powered Carport Deck

solar power corport deck Ahh.. solar by boat! From the project engineer, hobbyist, and pontoon boat owner: “Most of the time the system works faultlessly, churning out the wattage needed to power everything I need…I almost envy the ignorance of authorities and folk who don’t ‘see’ that renewable energy is worth the implementation costs.”

#7 – Solar Power iPad Charger

solar power ipad charger

When I first saw this, I thought someone must be screwing with me. But when I considered how useful something like this vest might be, I thought this was a pretty cool idea. I mean, imagine you’re on some kind of hike somewhere, got lost and needed to rely on all of your Survivorman skills to get back to humanity. Even if you turn the wrong way, get deeper into nowhere, and were on the verge of death… you’ve got a fully functional iPod.

#6 – Google Solar Power Power Project

Google solar power projectGoogle is in the processes of outfitting solar panels on the rooftops of the entire Googleplex. If you haven’t seen the scope of this project, check it out here

According to Google, the installation is projected to produce enough electricity for approximately 1,000 California homes or 30% of Google’s peak electricity demand.

#5 – Solar Powered Technology used in Windows

solar powered windowsSolar powered windows. What? A Japanese firm has created technology which enables the harness of solar energy from multiple directions, not merely from a flat surface. They call it “Sphelar”. Imagine a solar dome like the one pictured below finding its way into Green architecture. Sweet!

solar powered windowsAlso…. this thing.

#4 – Solar Fountains!

solar powered windows Sometimes the best ideas really are the most simple. Solar fountain! While fountains have been aesthetically pleasing all of us for quite some time, powering those pumps can take a slow but steady toll on the planet. Throw an efficient solar cell in the middle and presto! A self sustaining water-thrower. Maybe if Google ran the Bellagio, you might see a similar setup out front.

#3 – solar powered USB cell phone chargers

solar powered usb cell phone chargerOk, screw the vest. If you really want to save yourself in a pinch, you might want to consider one of these solar powered USB cell phone chargers.

#2 – Solar powered LED umbrella

solar powered usb cell phone chargerRemember how simple is best? Well ok. Solar powered LED umbrella. The cells charge up during the day and at night you have high-powered LED patio lighting. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these popping up on ritzy homes and beachfront bistros in the near future. Nice.

#1 – Suspended Solar Power Plants in Space

Suspended Solar Power Plants in SpaceOk space fanatics, US government researchers have ideas for energy generation via these suspended solar power plants. Feasible? Umm. Maybe? Will this ever happen? Maybe not, but here’s the justification: “Sunlight is eight times less intense on the earth’s surface than in its geostationary orbit. So why not collect it in space and beam its energy to Earth via microwave power beam, which can penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently? They have proposed putting in orbit mega-satellites – giant, possibly inflatable structures of photovoltaic arrays and antennas – that would do just that. At receiving stations on Earth, the beam could be converted into electricity or synthetic fuels, which, in contrast to power from terrestrial solar power stations, would flow continuously to the grid independent of the season, weather or location.” – US State Department Solar Energy Research

What about Japan? They’ve already got concrete plans: “Japan plans to launch a solar satellite by 2040, which will deliver energy to the earth via low-intensity microwaves. The satellite will absorb the sun’s energy 24 hours a day, unobstructed by clouds, and generate one million kilowatts per second – equal to the output of a nuclear power plant.”

Last modified: February 28, 2018

9 thoughts on “10 Innovative Uses for Solar Power Technology

  1. Avatar for ytre ytre says:

    reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeefor me homeworkseeeeeeee this was good

    1. Avatar for Ben Zientara Ben Zientara says:

      cool

  2. Avatar for Parcy Jackson Parcy Jackson says:

    Solar power technology is really helpful for the human being. As it’s environment-friendly and saving Fuel. Also, it doesn’t polute the environment.

  3. Avatar for robertsmith robertsmith says:

    Thanks for sharing great article on innovative uses of solar energy it is really informative article that you have posted on solar energy.I know a place one of the best solar installation company provides best solar services and products that are not just economical, but also efficient with customized solutions to offer you the best from our vast range of affordable models…

  4. Avatar for Jimaka Jimaka says:

    very Nice Where is the photo for #2 LED umbrella

  5. Avatar for Richard Beckett Richard Beckett says:

    I’m surprised by the text under #10 as the instalation was funded by the UNDP, installed by my company Khana Wayra, there were some Essex Uni students visiting the project but they watched rather then installed the equipment. The community is called Chipaya by the way, next to the Coipasa Salt flat.

    All the best

    Rcihard Beckett

  6. Avatar for John John says:

    I’m a huge fan of the new solar “film” that will soon be launching.

    Solar + LEDs are also a great fusion that Solar Cynergy recently launched. The aesthetic design is immaculate!

  7. Avatar for kurt kurt says:

    Oop! A reload of the page and it popped up.

    Nevermind!

  8. Avatar for kurt kurt says:

    Cool stuff!

    Where is the photo for #5, the Japanese Windows?

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