As the push for renewable energy continues, solar is making a big name for itself. It’s highly adaptable, affordable, and available just about anywhere. The price of installation has dropped dramatically, giving more people a reason to try it out.

It’s also caught the eye of manufacturers and developers, who work to discover more ways to incorporate solar into our lives. Connect Electric wants to share several new solar developments and how they continue to expand the boundaries of renewable energy.

. Drive The Solar Highway

The United States has around 18,000 square miles of land that’s covered by roadways. That amounts to a little more than three times the size of Connecticut. All that area could be serving another purpose: generating energy. 

Solar roads are a modular system of solar panels. They consist of strong glass embedded with photovoltaic cells, LED lights, and electrical wiring. These can be used to create signs on the surface that alerts motorists to changes in traffic or hazardous conditions.

A network of roads could be connected to collect large quantities of power for local communities. We would no longer need above ground wires to deliver electricity to homes and businesses.

This tech is not ready for deployment, but it’s an exciting prospect that has enormous potential.   

. A Solar Powered Wardrobe

Companies already make wearable solar devices like watches. However, designer Marianne Fairbanks and chemist Trisha Andrew are pushing for something even better. They are developing tiny solar panels that can be stitched directly into fabric. This can be used to make wearable power generators without uncomfortable hard plastic components.

The fabric could also be used to manufacture curtains or car seats that collect energy to use at home, at work, or while traveling. Solar material like this could help us further distance ourselves from non-renewable fossil fuels.

. Flexible Solar Film

The clean energy company Solivus is developing a flexible solar film. These sheets could be placed on buildings or bent and shaped onto curved, vertical, or horizontal surfaces. 

It is one-tenth of the weight of standard solar panels and contains no toxic materials. They are also estimated to work for 20 years, which is comparable to most standard solar panels.

. Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles

Tesla has created new PV shingles. These look just like regular roof tiles but work like solar panels. They are considered building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV), making them completely integrated into the structure. They are indistinguishable from the surrounding tiles. 

Solar roof tiles also have the benefit of being more durable than standard roofing material. The product lines announced include slate glass, Tuscan glass, smooth glass, and textured glass.

. Skins By Sistine Solar

Sistine Solar came up with another way to address the solar panel aesthetic issue. They produce panels that have a graphic printed on the surface. Their products can be designed to look like building material or to display an image.

Home and business owners can take advantage of free energy and maintain the visual appeal of their properties.

Solar gadgets are everywhere, and they keep getting better each year. The future is bright for renewable energy.