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20 Incredible Solar Powered Inventions
Solar power has been changing life as we know it. We’ve been reliant for so long on electricity and battery operated gadgets but now, it’s so nice to know that we’re becoming more green with the gadgets we have. It’s so amazing how far we’ve gone and that we’re now harnessing the power of the sun for renewable energy. If you’d like to find out all the cool solar powered inventions so far, check out this infographic!
Thank you solarcentre for this great roundup!
20 Incredible Solar Powered Inventions
1. Solar Plug Socket
We’ve all been out and about when our phone battery has died and we’ve had nowhere to charge it. This handy device uses solar panels to absorb solar radiation and store electricity so you can plug things in on the go.
2. Portable Solar Kitchen
Another device that’s all about convenience, this portable cooker uses solar energy to reach temperatures of up to 370°C to cook whatever you want. Great for picnic lovers, it allows you to bake, fry and boil wherever you are.
Initially created to help improve education in developing countries, the SOL laptop is powered by solar energy and after two hours of charging the battery can be used for between 8 and 10 hours.
4. Camera Strap
It’s easy to get a bit snap-happy when on holiday, but a dead camera as a result could be a thing of the past. The solar camera strap plugs into the camera’s DC-in socket and charges it directly; however, the sun has to be strong for it to work.
5. Phone Charger
The power needed to charge mobile phones is taking a toll on the environment, so San Francisco startup Juse created the world’s first phone case that stores solar power in a nano battery to automatically charge your phone.
Surprisingly, a solar powered wheelchair is cheaper than most of its electric counterparts. Additionally, it can go 10km to 12km on a charge, compared to the 7km of a fully-powered electric wheelchair.
7. Volkswagen Nanospyder
While it’s only a concept, the futuristic two-seater car uses nanotechnology supported by hydrogen fuel cells, solar power, wheel-mounted electric motors and inflatable organic body panels.
8. Air Conditioning
What better to use the sun for than to power an air-conditioning unit for when you just can’t take the heat? The unit uses a maximum of 500 watts, while a standard unit will use twice as much.
9. Vending Machine
In 2014, Coca-Cola installed the world’s first cold drink vending machine to run solely on solar energy. The solar-powered battery charges continually in day light and can operate for 3-5 days without the sun.
In 2007, South Africa’s NEDBank created the world’s first solar-powered billboard. What’s more, the power generated from it was used to power the kitchen of a local school—helping to feed 1100 children.
The world’s first solar and wind powered ferries were introduced in 2006 in San Francisco. The Hornblower Hybrid boasts a 45-foot high retractable solar panel-covered wing which can generate 20 kilowatts of electricity.
12. Hearing Aid Battery
Solar Ear’s hearing aid batteries offer hearing-impaired people in developing countries an alternative to costly batteries. The devices last for 2-3 years and can be used in 80% of hearing aids, with charging done via the sun, light or a phone plug.
13. Solar Impulse Plane
In 2011, the Solar Impulse made its first international flight, between France and Belgium. It became the first aircraft to fly without fuel in both the day and night, while carrying passengers, and is part way through a round the world trip.
14. Internet Cafe
The ZubaBox is a mobile, solar-powered internet cafe which aims to provide computing solutions to rural areas or disaster zones in Africa and was first deployed in Zambia.
While camping might be about reconnecting with nature, it doesn’t mean you have to be without the mod-cons. This invention sees solar panels placed into pouches on the outside of the tent which then generate enough electricity to charge electronic items or lighting.
While Solar Roadways® aren’t in use yet, the premise uses specially engineered solar panels, that can be walked and driven on, along with LED lights to create road lines and signage without paint. Heating elements also prevent snow and ice accumulation on the road.
Using the sun’s energy to power lights has both environmental and financial benefits, owing to using renewable energy instead of electricity. In rural parts of India, where electricity is hard to access, solar lamps are widely used.
18. Desalination Device
British company Desolenator created technology that uses solar-power to turn sea water and other non-potable water sources into pure, distilled water. The machine is capable of producing 15 liters of water per day and should work for up to 20 years.
19. Homeless Shelters
In 2015, teenagers in Seattle created small solar-powered homes for the local homeless community. A solar power hub allows individuals to access lighting and warm water at night, while there are also composting toilets and a kitchen area.
20. Traffic Signs
Areas in Australia now use ‘electronic ink’ signs which are traffic signs that use similar technology to e-readers but are solar-powered. They can be updated in an instant to reflect traffic changes and use zero energy when static.
Aren’t these inventions just amazing? How has solar power impacted your world?
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