Most of us have heard about PV panels, solar collectors and solar heating/cooling systems. But have you ever heard about solar roads, 3000 kilometers solar car races or independent, solar – powered streetlight? So, maybe it is a right time to check some new information from world of solar energy?
Solar road – future of transportation or utopian dream?
Created by Solar Roadways project is made of solar panels and LED lights technology. Energy generated by PV panels would be used to melt snow in winter, or send messages and warnings for drivers. Its traction would be comparable to standard roads and would not cause a blinding reflection. Solar road could also generate energy for nearby housing and electric cars.
Two towers – a battle for the “solar earth”
In California an innovative project has been launched – construction of twin solar towers, the biggest ones in world. Both will have 225 meters height and will generate a total of 500 MW of energy. This energy will power over 200 thousands households and reduce CO2 emission by 17 million tones. This solution will save 33% of ground area, comparing to standard solar ground farm, and will generate more power (because they could gather more sunlight) and will employ over 2000 people (builders or tower service people). USA government plans to build 16 similar objects.
The Spirit – world first for stand alone, solar powered lighting column.
We all know road signs powered by PV panels, or hybrid systems. However, all of them are still connected to main energy grid. The Spirit is different – it is completely independent. It uses PV panels and LED technology. This is great solution for locations, that do not have and electricity connection (it don't need any cabling), such as: car parks, woods, mountain roads, etc. The Spirit is called “milestone for energy sector”, because opportunities it brings. Inventors of this lighting column proves, that The Spirit can generate “top quality lighting anywhere in the world”.
Solar Challenge – races of the future?
Did you know, that in Australia, every two years since 1987 starts solar car race, gathering teams from 20 countries? It is called World Solar Challenge and have 3 000 kilometers route! Cars can have only small amount of energy at the start of the race, rest of it need to be generated during the race. Who wins decided better technology, allowing to gather more power and vehicle's kinetic abilities. Team comes from leading international universities and technical institutes, but there are also some representing private investors or companies, all sharing love to promotion of alternative energy sources.
As you can see – solar inventions world does not end on PV panels. It is really wide and still growing part of new technology sector. People, who ignore this kind of news are losing important information – information, which definitely “touch” our future.