Solar technology has been in existence since 1876, when William Grylls Adams and his student researcher discovered that you can produce electricity by exposing selenium to light. This confirmed that it was possible to produce energy from light. This method, however, was not nearly efficient enough to be practical, but it paved the way for the future or solar technology.
From that point until now, there has been drastic improvements in the efficiency and practicality of solar technology. Even though it has been over 100 years since this discovery, we are still at the early stages of solar tech. There is still so much on its way, and in 2018 we will start to see some of these applications come to life.
Lumeta Solar is a solar panel company that is introducing a new solar module that is much easier to install on one’s roof. Their module is a frameless panel that has a strong adhesive applied to its back. To install these panels, you simply peel off the paper that is covering the adhesive and stick the panels directly onto your rooftop. Depending on your roof type and the amount of panels, this installation method can take just a few hours.
You can also easily peel off the panels by covering them with a heat blanket for a period of time and then reinstall them in a new area! Their panels have an efficiency of 18%, a power output of 300 watts, and weigh about 26 pounds. This makes the Lumeta solar panel a very good option for homeowners.
Another exciting solar technology that will emerge on a larger scale in 2018 is the solar window. A solar window is exactly what you would think. It looks like any normal window, but it can generate energy as the sunlight passes through the glass. It does this through a quantum dot coating.
Quantum dots are microscopic semiconductors that are capable of transferring absorbed light to the edges of solar windows where solar cells are added. When the light moves to the edges of the solar window, the solar cell will convert that light into electricity. This breakthrough technology is now making solar window technology much more viable. Right now, solar windows are hard to come by, but there are a number of companies working on solar window technology, so we should be seeing more of these options entering the market in 2018.
Solar Technology on Mars
Solar technology has been used by NASA in their rovers for over 20 years. Now, NASA is working to build large-scale solar power systems that can operate during the day and night on Mars. In this effort, they recruited students to submit proposals by November 30, 2017. Therefore, in the coming year, we should start to see more advancements being made on this initiative.
Solar technology for space applications is very important in the quest to land a human on Mars. In such extreme environments, it is vital to have a renewable and constant source of energy for the machinery that is being used. 2018 will be a very exciting year for solar developments in the space industry.
Tesla Solar Shingles
We have all heard of Tesla’s innovative solar technology that infuses the solar cell into the roof shingle itself. These shingles are sleek, modern, and more elegant than any form of solar tech we have seen. Although these shingles may not be as affordable as one would think, they can be a great option for people who are more focused on aesthetics. Tesla’s solar shingles are definitely something to be excited about for 2018.
Micro-Grids and Blockchain
Micro-grids are smaller and smarter than the traditional electricity grids that are implemented throughout cities and municipalities. These micro-grids would allow for neighbors to sell excess electricity to each other and buy it through credits that can be purchased.
The blockchain, which is a very secure and effective method for processing and recording transactions, would be implemented to support this system. Blockchain has made headlines over the last year because of its use in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others. In 2018, we may see the blockchain being applied to solar technology.
An Exciting Year Ahead
2018 is poised to be an exciting year for solar technology. We will see products entering the market that have been talked about and in development for months. The solar industry is just getting started, so keep your eye out for the amazing new technology that will be released in 2018!