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Golden Age Technology

Catching the Sun: Innovative Developments in Solar Power, Part 1 of 2

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At the University of Toronto, Professor Edward Sargent and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Yi Hou, together with Professor Stefaan De Wolf from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), have developed a unique, highly efficient and stable tandem solar cell. Another exciting solar advancement was reported in October 2020. The new innovation involves designing solar panels in checkerboard lines to increase their ability to absorb light by as much as 125%. The new design, led by researchers from the University of York and conducted in partnership with NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal has the potential to produce thinner, lighter, and more flexible solar panels that can be used to power homes and in other applications as well.

Now let’s make a visit to Hungary for the next piece of inspiring news. A forward-thinking company in Budapest called Platio is using plastic waste to make solar panels, which are then used as pavements. Platio’s solar technology utilizes 400 waste plastic bottles to produce one square meter of the solar pavement. “Due to increasing environmental consciousness, electric cars are spreading rapidly; however, charging them is often an issue. By turning outdoor surfaces into resources of clean energy, Platio Solar Pavers provide an alternative for adopting renewable energy technologies at urban environments. It’s a smart space-saving and attractive solution for design-minded and environmentally conscious users to feed outdoor devices, such as electric car chargers.”

Singapore recently installed a floating solar farm off the coast of the vibrant island city-state to provide clean energy. The solar farm is equipped with electrical panels, control systems, and a 22-kilovolt transformer. The farm involves a total of 13,312 panels, 40 inverters, and more than 30,000 floats, spread over an area about the size of seven football fields. With the capacity to produce five megawatts of electricity, the floating system is designed to power almost 1,500 apartments for an entire year.

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