The hottest commodities in Solar company in California right now, with the state, set to become the first to require solar panels on all new homes and properties as of 2020. It is also being suggested that the most in-demand job over the next decade is a solar panel installer. With this information all over the web, it is hard to imagine that solar technology only became popular in the last 10 years.
Solar cells have been around since the 1970s. They were originally produced as thin wafers of a photovoltaic film put together in a small panel the size of a pod of peas. The panel produced just enough energy to power small devices. One of the earliest popular uses of solar cells is for calculators. You would see some of them being used so today.
Energy generation became more practical later on when bigger panels and more efficient materials were used for the cells. Technology progressed to the point where it became possible for a home to be powered, at least partially, through a solar installation. At that time, the panels were not so efficient as those in production today and would require a large area, typically the whole roof, to generate a few kilowatts of power. It was also so expensive that only the rich or big companies can afford to have it installed.
Solar technology has become affordable and efficient enough that the average homeowners today can have it installed in their houses. It helps them augment the electricity they use from the grid with clean energy so they save money and reduce carbon emissions at the same time. And with California’s new solar energy law set to be implemented next year, research and development of better and more powerful technology are at a premium.
There will be more developments in the years to come but here are some recent solar energy innovations that the industry has unveiled:
- Solar cells that can draw power from the rain – these hybrid or “all-weather” solar panels can use the rain to produce energy. They use triboelectric nanogenerators to use rain instead of sunlight to generate electricity. The first model was not so successful since the double layer design prevented sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic layer underneath. Another design was more successful, consisting of a thinner layer to facilitate the sunlight going through the upper layer. A newer, single-layer model is also being tested.
- Solar panels that can extract water from the air – a solar tech company announced that they have developed solar panels capable of pulling drinkable water from the air. The tech is about two years old but is still not very popular today. With California’s new law, there is potential for the technology to be a key part of what the solar companies will be offering.
When the law takes effect next year, make sure that you are ready to cope with the new requirements, specifically if you are trying to build a new home. Contact Soleeva servicing San Jose and the Bay Area. Get ahead of the industry by working with the top Bay Area solar firm. Visit us at Soleeva and schedule your consultation.