Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Solar Skins" : Future of Solar Technology

Today, I visited one of the solar dealers in Manila and I was astonished that there are solar dealers in Manila which started a couple of decades ago but the adaptation of solar applications is very minimal maybe due to the expensive solar devices and the unavailable cheap solar stores. As I think of the future of solar technology, I thought of some futuristic applications of solar called "solar skin".

Imagine having flexible clothes embedded with solar cells which can power your mobile devices or produce airconditioned ventilation on your re-usable clothes? I foresee solar technology, when readily available as cheap devices, can be used as "skin" to certain products similar to plant leaves producing energy from the sun through it's photosynthesis. Integrating solar panels to clothes, car body, house roofs/walls and everything exposed to sunlight will produce energy-independent hardware and software applications thereby lessening our dependence on fossil fuels like gasoline. However, with the current state of solar technology, we have yet to develop solar panels that are  as flexible as clothes so they can be integrated into different applications. What if we find a new way of producing solar cells which really behaves like "molecules" that can bond with other solar cells w/o the need to actually wire them up together into a single line? What I mean is that, imagine a solar cell that is like a puzzle... when you connect a puzzle piece to another piece, it should automatically bond or physically connect with the positive and negative polarities of the other cells forming a single compound of solar panels. 



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