Solar power technology has just taken a giant leap forward, enabling speedier growth of solar powered products and energy solutions in the everyday market. For years, solar power technology has been a part of everyday life – to the point where many people don’t even realize that they rely on solar power as much as they do. Most calculators, for example, are powered by solar technology, as are many garden lights, telephone booths, traffic lights, and much more.
However, solar technology has been largely unaffordable to the masses in a large scale, impeding the growth of this renewable energy market and of products that could otherwise help to reduce the consumer environmental footprint…until now.
A ground-breaking advance in solar power technology has affected the construction of solar panels. Instead of being made with hard glass, which is inflexible and potentially easy to break, new solar products can be made with a flexible solar panel that can be bended and even rolled up. The new solar technology panels are not only more resistant to breaking, but they are also less expensive than traditional crystalline silicone panels.
Here’s what you need to know about the new solar panels:
Because flexible solar panels are malleable, they can be used in a variety of settings. They are also easier to feel confident using in a broader market because they won’t get damaged easily, like some silicone solar panels.
Flexible solar panels can convert about 10 percent of the energy from the sun into electricity. While silicone panels can convert up to 20 percent of the energy from the sun, they are also harder to afford and easy to break. However, it takes less energy to make the flexible solar panels.
Some solar panel manufacturers claim that they can make thin-film photovoltaics for $1 per watt (crystalline silicone panels cost about $4 per watt to make). Crystalline silicone systems can be more expensive, in part, because of the costly silicone–which can take up as much as 50 percent of the cost of the panel.
As a result of all of the positive feedback and attention surrounding the flexible solar panels, major companies are focusing on manufacturing flexible solar panels rather than rigid silicone solar panels. General Electric, for example, has already stopped making silicone panels so that they can focus on creating the flexible solar panels.
Keep your eyes open for more information about flexible solar panels. Chances are good that this new technology will hit the ground running once it becomes a mainstream consumer product. It may be time to start thinking about how you might be able to install flexible solar powered technology into your home or business.
If you are eager for some more technical information on how to use your solar panels, stay tuned for the next article on how to integrate solar power technologies in your home.