Third part of article series devoted to inventions connected with solar power usage. This time we would like to present some examples of using solar technology in nanotechnology and medicine.
Solar powered suits
At the beginning this idea was created for standard suits type, like jackets etc. Zegna company, for example, produced clothing perfect for snowboarding while you want to listen to your favorite music without any breaks. A jacket, made with recycled plastic, can charge your mobile phone or iPod, looks stylish and is completely eco-friendly.
University of Glasgow has also decided to create solar suits, but with other purposes. Solar Soldier System is an innovative, smart and ecological system for military use. The idea is simple – to exchange heavy bulky batteries, carried by soldiers into battlefields, for light PV panels and thermoelectric devices equipment. This change (according to researchers calculations) should reduce 50 percent of weight, carried currently by soldiers in combat.
Solar power in the service of eye medicine
Fast progress in medicine has been noticed lately, so has RES popularity. Both of these technology domains were combined in one again, by creating solar powered retinal implants. This innovative technology can improve sight or can even restore sight to the blind. This device will use little power, so it does not need external batteries (sun energy would be enough for it) and also - does not cause heating to cells, as is sometimes the case with other implants. How does it work? The best and most simple answer, easy to understand for everyone, is given by Dr. Daniel Palanker, associate professor of ophthalmology:
“It works like the solar panels on your roof, converting light into electric current, but instead of the current flowing to your refrigerator, it flows into your retina.”
While we are on the subject of eye medicine, we should also mention that Stanford University is working a project that is trying to create contact lenses of the future – lenses that are going to use light entering the eye in order to generate solar power – it's also an interesting engineering idea, which could develop in many different ways, don't you think?
Solar power is used in many different technology domains and their number is still growing. With every passing year there are new ideas, projects and prototypes of devices and services that use this kind of RES. Market of solar power energy, according to this development, is still getting larger and it starts to have visible influence on awareness of people all over the world. Another article about interesting solar inventions soon will come up, stay with us!