The way in which your business will generate electric energy in the future could drastically change in the next few years. Solar energy technology is evolving rapidly, becoming much more affordable and efficient at the same time. These are five recent innovations for solar energy that we find exciting.
Great city views through your solar windows
Roof-top solar panelling or solar farms have been the standard approach for solar energy installations. Recent innovations have delivered new ways of how businesses can use solar panels.
Scientists at Incheon University in South Korea invented invisible solar panels that could be used in place of windows. Current panels are opaque, but newer models will be one hundred percent transparent solar panels that will help when it comes to wider implementation of this kind of technology.
Soon, your office windows can offer you a great panoramic view over your city or countryside while generating electric energy for your office equipment. This two-in-one technology will help each business be more self-sustainable when it comes to electric energy and at the same time much greener.
The efficiency rate of these invisible solar panels is low – currently at two percent. However, once it’s fully developed, it will allow businesses to become much more environmentally friendly and a self-sustainable type of business.
Solar panels that capture energy throughout the night
Besides the capability to be invisible, solar panels will also be able to capture energy throughout the night.
Scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) found a way to generate the energy that Earth accumulates during the day and spreads out during nighttime. In this way, the solar panels will constantly generate energy.
Development of this technology that accumulates energy without breakpoints will provide us with more power that we needs. This will decrease the price of solar panel technology, making it more widespread.
Solar energy can now be stored up to 18 years
Innovations in the way we keep and store accumulated electric energy is important as we plan to rely one hundred percent on solar panels as our source of the energy.
Scientists at the Swedish University of Technology in Gothenburg developed a way to store electric energy for up to 18 years.
“This is a radically new way of generating electricity from solar energy. It means that we can use solar energy to produce electricity regardless of weather, time of day, season, or geographical location,” said Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.
The solar energy collecting system is called MOST, or the Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems. It is based on a special molecule of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen that changes its shape when it comes in contact with sunlight.
This molecule changes its shape into an “energy-rich isomer”, a molecule that is formed of the same atoms but ordered in a different way. This isomer can be stored in liquid form that can be used later when needed, such as during night, rainy and winter periods.
When needed, the catalyst emits the collected energy as heat while restoring the molecule to its original shape.
This process gives the system the ability to store energy for an incredible 18 years.
Developing technologies like this will allow us to generate solar energy without relying on batteries which will make it one hundred percent environmentally-friendly and much easier for maintenance.
Besides creating inventions that will help us to better store accumulated solar energy, it is also important to develop the solar panel itself, making it much more durable and extending its lifespan.
Right now, the lifespan of a solar panel is 25-30 years. Scientists are working now to double that lifespan, giving businesses more return on their investments and minimising replacement or upgrade costs.
This kind of technology is in progress, too. Scientists at the University of York, UK, found a self-healing material called antimony selenide that has the capability to regenerate itself when it becomes damaged.
Antimony selenide has a similar capability to regenerate itself like a reptile after an injury. This discovery is revolutionary, and the team at the University of York knows how this technology could be used to create long-lasting solar panels.
Once they succeed, it will be a revolutionary moment for the renewable energy industry, allowing us to use solar energy much cost-effectively and efficiently.
Solar as a service
Businesses that decide to implement solar technology can find several benefits. Governments all around the world provide tax-relieving policies and financial benefits for companies that start with a renewable energy transition.
An increasing number of consumers are worried about the state of the planet and want to participate in solving climate change problems. Many customers prefer to rent services or buy products from an environmentally oriented organisation.
For you as a business, transition to a renewable source of energy means increasing customers’ trust when it comes to your brand.
Yet, beside all these facts you can say that implementing this kind of technology is complex and expensive to you. That’s why some companies have started to offer solar energy as a service.
Today we see the rise of companies that offer solar energy as a service. You can look at this like a subscription for your smartphone services. You have a contract of one years or more where a company will lend you solar technology so you don’t need to give a thousand of dollars when installing it.
Those companies will install the technology for you, maintain it, and provide support.
This is a good and cost-effective way to start with a green transition that will prepare you for the upcoming revolution into the energy sector, save you money, positively affect your business reputation, and, importantly, protect our planet.
ClearVUE.Business – supporting your transition to renewable energies
Green financing schemes exist to support businesses who invest in smart and clean energy technologies. We provide assistance on budgeting and guidance on financing options to support how your organisation will execute its net zero strategy, including investment and management of physical assets, infrastructure decisions, and energy procurement advice.
ClearVUE.Zero, our carbon and energy management solution, qualifies for tax relief for capital asset investments schemes. This alleviation of costs for your business means you can invest confidently in our solution that facilitates your energy efficiency and carbon reduction strategies.