Solar Power Inventions

Solar Power Boat

Solar Power Boat

Tûranor PlanetSolar is the biggest solar-powered boat in the world. This impressive catamaran runs solely on energy found in light. The additional removable parts allow it to expose a total of 537 m2 of photovoltaic surface (solar panels) to the sun. PlanetSolar will soon complete the first ever-made journey around the world using solar energy.

Solar backpacks

solar bagsSolar backpacks are enviromental friendly mobile power generators, equipped with a lithium battery that has the capacity to power cell phones, mp3 players and other small electronic devices anywhere and anytime. They have also recently been developed to charge laptop computers.

solar phone

solar powered cell phone
Although still in an early stage, solar phone technology has been explored by ZTE, Sharp, and Samsung. The latter released the popular Blue Earth phone - which includes an integrated solar panel to provide battery power - in 2009.

          Solar Impulse plane
Solar Impulse plane
The Solar Impulse plane is a solar-powered, long-range aircraft. It made its first international flight(between France and Belgium) in May 2011 and is the first aircraft that can fly without fuel both during the day and at night, carrying a number of passengers.

solar oven and solar cooker
Solar ovens

Solar ovens have proven a valuable addition to many rural communities in developing countries that are too remote to receive gas or electricity supplies. A number of companies now specialize in producing the devices and have even devised more complex models, including solar barbeques and solar grills.

       Mobile internet cafe

mobile internet cafe

The ZubaBox is a mobile internet café with solar panels on the roof. It is constructed from a used shipping container and fitted with a computer and 11 monitors which run exclusively on solar power. It has been developed to provide computing solutions to very rural areas or disaster zones in Africa.

Solar Bikini

Brooklyn-based designer Andrew Schneider released this limited-edition solar-panel bikini, also known as the iKini, in the summer of 2011. The device can power small electronic gadgets such asiPods and cameras via a USB port. Of course ladies can go swimming while wearing the iKini but must dry well before hooking it up. The designer announced he will release the men's solar swimming shorts which cool beer.

Movie Theater

solar movie theatre The Sol Cinema is a micro movie theatre powered entirely by the sun. Built from an old 1972 trailer, the Sol Cinema can accommodate 8 adults comfortably for an eco cinematic experience. It works with solar panels that charge lithium ion batteries normally like in normal electric vehicles. Funded by media arts organization Undercurrents, the cinema has a cool, retro style.

Solar cars

Solar cars depend on PV cells to convert sunlight into electricity to drive electric motors. Unlike solar thermal energy which converts solar energy to heat, PV cells directly convert sunlight into electricity.

Solar cars combine technology typically used in the aerospacebicyclealternative energy and automotive industries. The design of a solar car is severely limited by the amount of energy input into the car. Solar cars are built for solar car races or daily usage on public roads List of solar cars (with homologation). Even the best solar cells can only collect limited power and energy over the area of a car's surface. This limits solar cars to ultralight composite bodies to save weight. Solar cars lack the safety and convenience features of conventional vehicles.

Solar cars are often fitted with gauges and/or wireless telemetry, to carefully monitor the car's energy consumption, solar energy capture and other parameters. Wireless telemetry is typically preferred as it frees the driver to concentrate on driving, which can be dangerous in such a small, lightweight car.The Solar Electric Vehicle system was designed and engineered as an easy to install (2 to 3 hours) integrated accessory system with a custom molded low profile solar module, supplemental battery pack and a proven charge controlling system.

As an alternative, a battery-powered electric vehicle may use a solar array to recharge; the array may be connected to the general electrical distribution grid. List of solar cars (with homologation)

Solar buses

Solar buses are propulsed by solar energy, all or part of which is collected from stationary solar panel installations. The Tindo bus is a 100% solar bus that operates as service in Adelaide City as an initiative of the City Council.Bus services which use electric buses that are partially powered by solar panels installed on the bus roof, intended to reduce energy consumption and to prolong the life cycle of the rechargeable battery of the electric bus, have been put in place in China.

Solar buses are to be distinguished from conventional buses in which electric functions of the bus such as lighting, heating or air-conditioning, but not the propulsion itself, are fed by solar energy. Such systems are more widespread as they allow bus companies to meet specific regulations, for example the anti-idling laws that are in force in several of the US states, and can be retrofitted to existing vehicle batteries without changing the conventional engine.

Solar powered spacecraft

Main article: Solar panels on spacecraft Solar energy is often used to supply power for satellites and spacecraft operating in the inner solar system since it can supply energy for a long time without excess fuel mass. A Communications satellite contains multiple radio transmitters which operate continually during its life. It would be uneconomic to operate such a vehicle (which may be on-orbit for years) from primary batteries or fuel cells, and refueling in orbit is not practical. Solar power is not generally used to adjust the satellite's position, however, and the useful life of a communications satellite will be limited by the on-board station-keeping fuel supply.

Solar propelled spacecraft

A few spacecraft operating within the orbit of Mars have used solar power as an energy source for their propulsion system.

All current solar powered spacecraft use solar panels in conjunction with electric propulsion, typically ion drives as this gives a very high exhaust velocity, and reduces the propellant over that of a rocket by more than a factor of ten. Since propellant is usually the biggest mass on many spacecraft, this reduces launch costs.

Other proposals for solar spacecraft include solar thermal heating of propellant, typically hydrogen or sometimes water is proposed. An electrodynamic tether can be used to change a satellite's orientation or adjust its orbit.

Another concept for solar propulsion in space is the light sail; this doesn't require conversion of light to electrical energy, instead relying directly on the tiny but persistent radiation pressure of light.

Planetary exploration

Perhaps the most successful solar-propelled vehicles have been the "rovers" used to explore surfaces of the Moon and Mars. The 1977 Lunokhod programme and the 1997 Mars Pathfinder used solar power to propel remote controlled vehicles. The operating life of these rovers far exceeded the limits of endurance that would have been imposed, had they been operated on conventional fuels.