It wasn’t long ago that solar energy was limited to research labs and seemingly optimistic prototypes. And now, just a few decades later, solar is the world’s cheapest and most sustainable energy source. Although the industry has come leaps and bounds from where it started, the fundamental design of the solar modules have remained largely the same with the exception of some variations such as bifacial panels and cell cut out modules.
That said, in recent years, the solar energy industry has been breaking its stereotypical image and has begun introducing exciting new products. Developers have been able to combine the power generation ability of solar cells with everyday objects to make solar more versatile and everyday objects more useful. These innovations are changing the landscape for the solar industry and are sure to inspire continued innovation for years to come.
Let us have a look at some interesting and new solar products on the market today:
1. Solar Glass
While traditional solar panels have a full set of components such as cells, glass, frames, sheets, etc. solar glass embeds solar cells directly into glass while getting rid of all other components which do not have a direct role in energy generation. Solar glass is a sleek solar power generating unit that can be translucent/transparent and directly installed on the sides of buildings.
Solar glass also maximizes space utilization by not just being limited to the roofs. This is particularly useful in urban settings. Manufacturers have also succeeded in combining aesthetics by developing PV glasses in various colors.
2. Solar Roof
Previously, existing solar panels when installed on the roof, needed mounting structures and took up space which could not be utilized for anything else. Additionally, the owner has to incur costs for both – roof as well as the solar plant. Solar roofs combine roofing units with solar cells to become multi-purpose. Solar roofs can be flat tiles with embedded solar cells or shingles. Robust and durable solar roofs not only save roof costs during installation but can also save on roof upgrade costs while ultimately reducing expenditure on electricity.
3. Solar Furniture
Using electronics on your patio or lawn has always been a challenge, with a lack of charging points. With more and more people working from homes in today’s world, having furniture that has embedded solar panels helps turn the outside into a workspace or a hangout place where you don’t need to worry about your phones or tablets running out of power.
Interested in learning more about how solar energy can save you money? Click here to read about some cost-saving incentives introduced through the Ontario government.