In the beginning, the sun has been used as a source of lighting for man. As man broadened his horizons and conquered new realms, the need for more light grew. As the primary beacon of light, the electric light bulb made it possible for people to engage in many other activities even after the sun sets. However, because of new technology in solar power, the light bulb is starting to fear for its future.
Scientists estimated that if just one-tenth of one percent of the sun’s energy could be harnessed and converted into electricity, the world could be powered without dependence on non-renewable fuels. Today, existing solar power technology only collects about six percent of the available energy from the sun. Yet the good news is that new technology in solar power is now developing studies and tests to understand how to capture the invisible sunlight to collect more energy from the sun.
Through the use of solar cells converting sunbeam into electricity, current methods of gathering energy from sunlight are based on the amount of visible light. Recent advances in a new technology in solar power involve nanotechnology, which when used with spray-on polymers, can create a solar panel that also detects the ultraviolet energy and converts it into electricity.
Advances Promise A Bright Future
Researchers of this breakthrough technology in solar power claim that an electric car painted with this coating could produce enough power to keep its batteries continuously charged. Another deduction is that a jacket coated with this polymer could supply enough power to operate a cell phone. Additional advances in new technology in solar power promise the reality of harnessing up to thirty percent of the sun’s energy in the future.
Hybrid lighting systems are also part of the new technology in solar power. This system merges solar power and electricity to provide interior lighting. Sunlight is collected in a parabolic dish, much the same as signals for satellite television, and then directed on a fiber optic array that carries the light into the same area as the electric lighting, helping to provide the needed illumination.
When the sun shines brighter and more light is transmitted through the fiber optics, computers read the room’s brightness and adjust the amount of electricity used on the light bulbs through the use of light sensors. The system dims the electric lighting when the fiber optics provides more light and brings back their brightness level when the sun is not as radiant. This latest innovative system is in limited use in some office settings. Apparently, more research and improvements are still to be done to increase the popularity of new technologies in solar power but with a couple advances well on its way for the ready use of man, the future of solar energy holds limitless possibilities.