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Solar tech innovations transforming power generation

The pressing need for clean, renewable energy is the key reason photovoltaic panels are increasingly becoming popular.

tesla solar roof
Image: Tesla

Out of the 39.7 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity proposed by power plants and developers, solar will account for 39 percent, adding a new record of 15 gigawatts of power to the grid, according to the EIA. In a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and air pollution, an innovative and reliable renewable energy source is needed. And solar energy is one of the promising renewable energy sources because it’s cheap and provides carbon-free electricity. 

Over the last decades, solar power has been used for generating electricity for the grid. But solar energy has evolved in many ways in recent years thanks to advancements in technology. Today’s applications of solar power include rural electrification, solar roadways, solar-powered cars, and buildings. Below are a few solar tech innovations transforming power generation.

Building-integrated photovoltaics

BIPV is an innovative technology that aims to transform how people install solar panels in their buildings. Unlike conventional panels, building-integrated photovoltaics or BIPVs are not installed on rooftops. Instead, they easily blend into the architectural design of buildings in the form of canopies, skylight systems, windows, facades, and roofs.

Ideally, BIPVs form the essential parts of a building, meaning you don’t have to invest in traditional construction materials and solar panels. Installing BIPV panels helps you cut the added expenses of buying and installing solar panels on the rooftop. Other perks linked to BIPVs are improved thermal insulation, zero carbon emission, and enhanced energy efficiency. 

Solar-powered battery backup

Solar-powered battery backup systems have become must-have essentials in the home due to increasing electric grid blackouts. With solar-powered battery backups, homeowners can store excess solar power generated during the day. That way, they can light their homes whenever there’s a power outage without relying on bulky fossil-fueled generators.

Besides storing excess electricity, a Denver solar company states that today’s solar batteries are intelligent energy management systems. For example, they can optimize energy usage in your home to ensure your electric car is fully charged with solar energy.

Floatovoltaics or floating solar farms

When people talk about solar farms, the first thing that comes to mind is tons of solar panels installed in the desert. However, solar farms are not limited to land only. Solar companies are now installing photovoltaic panels on water reservoirs, lakes, and dams. Investing in floatovoltaics or floating solar farms is a sure way of producing huge amounts of electricity.

Besides, floating solar farms don’t require vast amounts of land, and the installation cost is less than that of land-based solar farms. Other advantages of floating photovoltaics include increased production of clean solar power, enhanced energy efficiency, and reduced water evaporation in lakes and dams.

The pressing need for clean, renewable energy is the key reason photovoltaic panels are increasingly becoming popular. Besides providing clean energy, solar panels or photovoltaics are cheap, and their applications are not limited to generating electricity for the grid. Solar energy can be used for rural electrification, charging electric cars, lighting buildings, and solar roadways. That’s because of advanced technologies like building-integrated photovoltaics, floating solar farms, solar skins and fabrics, and solar-powered battery backups.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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