The use of solar energy is gaining momentum around the world, as more and more countries are switching to solar energy. But once the ability to turn solar energy into electricity was considered an invention, or even an innovation!
In 1897 Frank Shuman, an American inventor, engineer and pioneer in the use of solar energy, built a small demonstration solar engine, the principle of which was that sunlight was reflected onto square containers filled with ether, whose boiling point is less than water. Inside up to the containers were nailed black pipes that drove the steam engine.
In 1908 Shuman founded the Sun Power Company to build large solar-powered plants. Together with his technical advisor A.S.E. Ackermann and British physicist Sir Charles Vernon Boys, Shuman developed an improved system, using a system of mirrors that reflected sunlight onto boxes of solar collectors, increasing heating efficiency to the point where water could be used instead of ether. Schumann then built a full-scale steam engine that ran on low-pressure water. This gave him the opportunity in 1912 to patent an entire system with a solar engine.
<<< Shuman’s Patent US1240890
Shuman even built the world’s first solar thermal power station between 1912 and 1913. It was located in Maadi, Egypt.
Solar Energy In Sunny California
Sunny California is the perfect place to get your electricity from solar energy. According to research, there is an average of 3,470 hours of sunlight per year (of a possible 4,383) with an average of 9:30 of sunlight per day in Sacramento. It is sunny 79.2% of daylight hours. Just the perfect conditions to go solar!
But where do you start on your path to going solar? How do you choose a solar panel supplier?
There are many rankings of solar panel manufacturers through which you can choose the best solar panels company in California. For example, check out Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation’s rating.
But we live in a time where you need to see the bigger picture even when choosing a solar panel manufacturer. The company now stands out in the market because of its innovation. It is this criterion that may be decisive in 2021.
Current And Upcoming Innovations In Solar Technologies
Thin-film solar cells
Up to 85% of the solar cells on the market today are crystalline solar modules. However, experts assure that thin-film solar cell production technology is more efficient and therefore more promising. Typically, four types of materials are used in their construction:
- cadmium-telluride (CdTe),
- amorphous silicon,
- copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS), and
- gallium-arsenide (GaAs).
The main advantage of thin-film technology is its low cost, which is why it has all chances to become the leader in the next few years. Modules based on the new base allow making solar panels flexible. They are light and flexible, which makes it possible to place such batteries literally on any surface, including the surface of clothes.
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a photovoltaic (PV) company located in Thornton Colorado, is one of the top players in the manufacturing of high-performance CIGS modules, with their superlight and extreme CIGS technology being used in space, aerospace, government, and public sectors.
Transparent solar windows
What could be better than having large panoramic windows in your home with views of the city or nature? Having large panoramic windows, with a transparent coating that absorbs solar energy! Ubiquitous Energy, a Silicon Valley technology company, manufactures highly innovative transparent solar windows. The thin coating created by Ubiquitous Energy is applied to the surface of window glass to provide electricity generation, all while maintaining the aesthetic of a traditional window. It all comes down to one word-transparency. The team has achieved a solar-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 10% with their transparent materials. By the way, the company owns a portfolio of patents for its innovative technologies.
Innovative OneRoof™ Solar System
If you’re just building your home or going to renovate, the good news for you is that you no longer need to look separately for a rooftop tile and solar panel supplier. Сheck out SunPower’s recent innovation – OneRoof™ Solar System. SunPower is one of, if not the most innovative California solar panels company. According to the manufacturer, the OneRoof™ Solar System is a Class A UL-certified solar system that replaces existing roof tiles with fully integrated roof-plus-solar solutions. The system delivers an efficient, durable, attractive and cost-effective solar roofing product that is ideal for the new-home market.
There is a long list of innovations waiting for people interested in solar energy technologies. From efficiency improvements to reverse solar panels and solar paints. There is still a lot more to come in this field. Given the latest developments, the solar energy market is expected to boom in the next 5 years. Despite the rollback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of solar panel installations is anticipated to reduce by 15% to 35% by 2024 making renewable energy more affordable.