Photovoltaic technology is still rather pricey,
are finding new applications. As a result, the original energy source is finding its way into our daily lives.
Photovoltaic systems have long been out of reach for most homeowners but Stellaris' ClearPower Solar changes all that. ClearPower Solar uses passive concentrating optics technology, decreasing the amount of expensive silicon-based photovoltaic material required while boosting efficiency. Since direct sunlight is not needed no moving parts or maintenance are required. Low-energy light passes through the units allowing for architectural integration in the form of skylights or curtain walls.
Integrating solar in the household can also be achieved using
the Energy Curtain, a window shade woven
from a combination of textile, solar-collectors and light-emitting materials.
Designed by the Swedish Interactive Institute, as part of
a study on how everyday products might be designed to better express patterns
of long-term energy use, it collects light during
the day then during the evening, the collected energy is expressed as a glowing
pattern on the inside of the shade.
Another bright idea for integrating renewable energy into our daily lives is the patent pending Suntrap Handbag. A Solar-charged battery powers the electroluminescent lining making it easier to find things inside. The lighting shuts its self off after 15 seconds to conserve energy. Portable devices such as cell phone, PDA, or MP3 player can also be charged via USB port.
The Power of One Solar Car Project, or Xof1 for short, was
initially developed with the intention to compete in the prestigious World
Solar Challenge. Instead their car set off to break
the world distance record for a solar car. The space age looking car weighs
roughly 660 lbs (300kg) with driver and the entire top body of the car is covered
by solar cells and tops out at 75mph (120 km/hr). The website features
instructions on how you can make your own mini solar car.
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