What the Future Holds for Solar Panels


The technology behind solar panels has certainly come a long way since it was first introduced to the consumer market. Today, people all over the world are contacting companies like Semper Solaris and investing in solar panels to become more independent regarding how they get their energy. For those who want to lead the most eco-friendly lifestyle possible, solar panels not only provide them with clean energy, but they also ensure that these individuals can feed energy back into the grid to help others reduce their carbon footprint as well.

So, what can we expect from the solar panels of the future as more advancements are made to their technology? To get a glimpse of how solar panels can change over the next few years, continue reading.

Improvements in the Solar Cells Themselves

One of the major problems with today’s solar panels is their inability to convert every last drop of light that hits them into usable energy. Today’s commercial products, for example, have a conversion rate of around 21.5%. However, scientists have been working extremely hard at improving the performance of every individual solar cell so that solar panels will continue to perform more efficiently and effectively. They have already been able to come up with the technology necessary to produce solar cells that convert at a rate of 44.7%, and they’re working even harder on getting conversion rates up to 80% for the near future.

Solar Tiles for Rooftops

A lot of people think that large solar panels are quite unsightly on the rooftops of both residential homes and businesses. Solar tiles, or solar shingles, could be the answer to the problem of large, obtrusive solar panels that people are reluctant to install.

Solar tiles essentially act similar to regular roofing shingles. Therefore, when installed, you will have no idea that there are solar cells within the tiles, and they provide a much more natural appearance on a variety of buildings. The one drawback to these tiles, though, is the fact that they, obviously, cannot swivel to track the sun as it moves across the sky throughout the day. Therefore, the only energy that they will produce will be based upon the number of tiles that are exposed to the sun at any given time during the day.

This could lead to a reduction in the amount of energy produced if a person’s home was already fitted with a swiveling solar panel but he or she decided to make the switch to solar shingles. However, if a homeowner never had a swiveling solar panel to begin with, they wouldn’t even know the difference. Instalation would still have been a wise investment, as these tiles would provide substantial savings on energy bills while helping to clean the environment of some of the fossil fuels that would otherwise have been used to power that particular home.

Giant Crystal Balls Could Replace Solar Panels

In the future, solar panels may be replaced by very large crystal balls that are much better at absorbing as much light as possible to generate the most energy possible. A German company has been able to create a powerful lens in the form of a giant clear ball that swivels to track the sun and even the moon throughout the day and night. Even swiveling solar panels do not compare, as this ball is able to absorb 70% more energy than today’s technology allows.

Transparent Solar Cells

Transparent solar cells also promise to revolutionize the industry. These are especially exciting because they are invisible to the human eye, so they can be placed anywhere and generate energy throughout the day. They can even be placed directly on windows, and you wouldn’t know the difference, yet the sun shining through that window would be generating electricity for your home. Also, you can probably imagine how appealing this concept is to those who already think that solar panels, giant crystal balls, and solar shingles are either unattractive, potentially dangerous, or not worth the investment.

Only the future will tell which of these technologies will really come to the forefront of the solar energy industry. In the meantime, it is very exciting to dream of what could be.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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