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