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Coming Solar Innovations to Harness Sun Power

written by: Rafael•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 2/22/2009

Learn about new ways to harness Sun power for generating clean energy. From solar powered kiosks to power generating windows solar energy is a ready an available source of renewable energy.

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    The sun is a readily available and free resource for generating energy the alternative way, that is, by not using traditional oil and carbon resources. Rooftop solar panels are the most we are used to in terms of solar power technology. However, there are many innovations coming in to harness sun power.

    Here are five coming innovations in solar power technology:

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    Solar-Charged Fuel Cells

    According to MIT scientists it is possible to use solar energy to cleave the water molecule into its components. Then, in a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen, could be recombined and use the released energy to generate clean electricity. Energy generated during daylight could be used at night according to this article.

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    Power Generating Windows

    Houses have many windows that usually receive the impact of solar energy for many hours per day. Rather than having solar roof panels those windows could be used to harness solar energy. A solar concentrators placed on the glass would generate photovoltaic energy that will be transmitter to the window's edges and then to an accumulator. The concentrator would a dye immersed within the glass. The system is simple but is still not commercially available and has been developed at MIT too

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    Power Generating Roads And Parking Lots

    According to researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, areas that covered with asphalt could mean an innovation for generating power from the sun. Buried pipes immersed in hot roads and hot parking lost surfaces could be used to heat adjacent buildings, homes, and offices. Also, the hot water could be used to generate electricity using some type of thermo electrical plant. Due to the properties of the asphalt the heat water could be generated even at night since asphalt “holds” heat within its structure well after the sun has gone down.

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    Solar-Powered Bicycle Kiosks

    During Last year’s Democratic and Republican national conventions an interesting program was presented. Freewheelin, a new bike-sharing program is nationally set up to let participants use free bicycles using solar-powered kiosks.

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    Water-Powered Dryers

    Researchers and scientists at University of Cincinnati (UC) have developed a solar-heated dryer closet, which uses hot air rising from pipes at the bottom to dry clothes placed on it. Also, research is being conducted to develop a simple and usable kit to adapt conventional dryers to use water heated by solar power.