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7 MORE Cool Solar Power Technologies

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By Zachary

Following up on my post last week on 7 cool solar power technologies, here are 7 more cool solar power technologies.

1. Solar-powered Cars:

I’m not sure if you’ll ever be able to buy a solar-powered car, but some researchers at Japan’s Tokai University and Panasonic, among others, are trying to make it possible, and there are some pretty wicked solar-powered car races out there, like the World Solar Challenge in Australia (the 2011 race is coming up next month — October 16-23).

2. Solar-powered Boats:

If there are solar-powered cars, you know there have to be solar-powered boats, too. The largest solar-powered boat in the world is TÛRANOR PlanetSolar (pictured above) designed by Craig Loomes of LOMOcean Design (Auckland, NZ). WWF also has a solar-powered boat it uses for activism and renewable energy education. Check out the video below for more (best if you understand Spanish):

3. Solar-powered Planes:

And… if there are solar cars and boats, there are also solar-powered planes. Seriously. The Swiss solar-powered Solar Impulse made its first 24-hour flight last year and made its first international flight this year. But Boeing and the DoD have much bigger goals. They’re working on a solar-powered plane called the Solar Eagle that they think will be able to fly around the world for years without stopping!

4. Portable Solar Desalination Plant:

Maybe not for your average Joe and maybe not as exciting as the above, but solar-powered desalination plants like those developed by MIT engineers from the Field and Space Robotics Laboratory could be more than useful, life-saving, in disaster situations and remote places of the world.

5. Solar Phone Chargers:

Like solar backpacks, solar phone chargers have been around for awhile and there are a number of different options out there. One of the newest options out there is the Eton Mobius iPhone4 solar charger and case.

6. Spray-on Solar Paint:

Getting back to cool solar power options for homes and buildings (like previously highlighted solar shingles and solar windows), cheap solar paint or spray-on solar panels are being developed by a handful of different research teams. Hopefully, someday, such options will be as available as plain old solar panels are today.

7. Colorful Solar Panels:

Last but not least, at least a couple companies, QSolar and GreenSun, have developed colorful solar panels for those of us who are color-picky. Cool-looking products. Would love to see them in real life!

More cool solar power technologies to share? I’m about tapped out, so please leave a comment below!

Photo Credits: PlanetSolar