Home Improvement – New Solar Technology

Solar panel systems have always been criticized as bulky and unattractive. New solar technology is beginning to make such criticisms a thing of the past.

Solar Advancement

While everyone agrees solar energy is a clean, cost-effective energy source, there has always been one problem. The solar panel systems tended to be large and rather bulky. Frankly, they don’t add to the beauty of a home. While solar panel designs have improved over the years, a new development involving shingles is getting a lot of attention.

Photovoltaic shingles are a major design breakthrough for those who have a distaste for large solar panel systems. These shingles are, well, shingles. The replace the shingles on a roof, but have the physical appearance of a regular roof. Although they are black, they do not standout from the roof in the manner of panels. Instead, the they simply look like a regular roof and many people cannot tell the difference. Obviously, this seamless design is much better than the bulky designs of panel systems.

The technological breakthrough that makes this new technology possible is the invention of thin film photovoltaic cells. Known as “amorphous silicon thin alloy technology”, the designers essentially stepped back from traditional solar panel designs and did some thinking. What they realized is the materials used in panels were not the only ones that could be used. Without getting overly technical, the design team came up with a solution where more efficient cells could be built on a steel substrate. Each super thin cell was tailored to capture different spectrums of the sunlight. When layered on top of each other, they became extremely efficient at producing power.

The ultimate result is a system that can sit directly on the roof of a home or building, is … Read the more