Innovative Solar Products
As solar becomes mainstream, production costs decline and technology innovations find their way into a variety of new products. These devices provide convenience while helping to reduce energy consumption and the user’s carbon footprint.
Solar Chargers: Solar chargers for laptop and notebook computers eliminate the fear of losing data when the battery is drained and there isn’t an available power receptacle. Solar chargers can charge 95% of the portable digital products currently available. This includes not only laptop computers, but digital cameras, mobile phones, MP3 players, DVD players and portable video games. This is a perfect accessory for those traveling to remote areas where power is unavailable or in a vehicle with limited access to outlets.
Solar Cooling Hats: This popular headwear accessory has a small fan built into the front of a conventional hat. A solar cell is attached to the crown which collects the sun’s energy and powers the fan while directing a cool breeze over the face. Fan speed is increased by the intensity of the sun and the unit has an on/off switch. There are numerous available styles such as safari and traditional ball caps that are available in many colors. Some even include favorite team logos.
Small Solar Cells: Sandia National Laboratories has developed tiny crystalline-silicon photovoltaic cells that measure a mere 20 microns in thickness and ¼ to 1 millimeter across. These cells produce the same amount of electricity as standard cells but use 100 times less silicon in production. Current efficiency levels are 14.9%.
The small size and flexibility of the cells creates an infinite variety of applications. Solar panels can be easily integrated into fabrics and will flex with the movement of the material. Attaching solar panels to clothing creates a mobile energy source to power fans, phones, laptops and other hand held devices. Larger panels can be attached to tents and other structures to provide lighting and electricity for the domain without the need to haul a generator around.
Solar Powered Grass: As a novelty item, solar powered wild grass plants provide an eerie nocturnal glow to a back yard. Pushing the stakes into the ground allows the solar cells to absorb the sun’s energy that is released when the sun goes down and the green glow begins.