It is easy to see why solar energy is a popular option with property owners but not everyone likes the idea of lining their roof with tons of panels in order to generate the power they need.
The industry is alive to this issue and there are many exciting innovations in the pipeline when it comes to solar energy options and some the new technologies could not only spell the end for traditional panels but offer greater energy efficiency too.
Here is a look at some of the new technologies that have the potential to transform solar energy provision, including a clever solution to unsightly panels, how buildings in the future will be so much more energy efficient, plus an insight into a clever way of turning your existing windows into solar panels.
Hidden in plain sight
The one major stumbling block that has held back some homeowners from investing in solar power for their property has been the fact that they would have to cover their roof with unsightly panels.
A small price to pay you might argue in return for the benefits solar energy provides in terms of energy costs and an eco-friendly solution. But any concerns about old-fashioned panels can now be dismissed since Tesla announced the launch of their solar shingles.
To the casual observer, your roof will look like any other but the Tesla roofing tiles embrace new solar technology and each tile is doing the job of harnessing the sun’s power without spoiling the look of your home.
Solar shingles manufactured by Tesla and other manufacturers will be able to provide the power you need and still allow you to enjoy the look of French slate or Tuscan tiles adorning your roof.
This is just the start of that particular revolution as other innovative products become available for use around your home or business, including windows which will let the light in as usual but capture some of that energy at the same time.
Less reliance on the grid
Staying on the subject of domestic properties and how they will change in the future, it is interesting and exciting to consider the possibility that the home of the future could be created using 3D printing technology and be less dependent on getting power from the grid.
If you want to know more on how the energy landscape is expected to change in the future you might want to read https://oilandenergyinvestor.com/2015/10/the-one-element-that-will-change-the-energy-landscape/ for more details.
Meanwhile, plans are in place to try and create a scenario where homes and businesses use the main power grid as a backup rather than a primary source of their energy needs. One way this goal could be achieved could through the use of 3D technology.
Creating homes that use every trick available to harness solar energy, including embedding windows, roofs, and any other suitable surface, with solar-generating capabilities, is helping us head towards a scenario where buildings are energy self-sufficient and generate all the electricity they need by themselves.
The fact that you could design and print all the components needed to create this sort of structure using 3D technology, shows you just how far innovation is taking us in the modern world.
The cost of replacing your windows
Another potential stumbling block for turning your property into a solar-powered temple is the cost of updating to the new technology, including replacing your windows and roof with versions that are capable of generating the energy you need.
An exciting development in solar cell innovation might offer a solution to that sort of budgetary restriction.
Researchers are excited by a range of materials known as perovskites, which can be used to successfully harvest light and then turn it into a crystalline structure. What this means is that the perovskites could be blended into a liquid solution that would then be able to be applied to a whole range of different surfaces.
In the not-too-distant future, you will be able to buy a spray that applies this thin film of perovskite solar cell to your windows and other surfaces.
That would be a major breakthrough as instead of replacing your windows, for example, you could adapt them to capture solar energy by spraying them with the perovskite solution. It would also be a game-changer if this new technology can achieve energy conversion efficiency to a level that is equal to or better than conventional solar cells.
David Roberts is a personal finance consultant. He enjoys sharing the latest news and innovations with others by posting on a number of energy and finance websites.