- Green Minute
- Green Campuses
- Green Media
- Contact Us
One of the most exciting advances in alternative energy is flexible solar panels. These are thin enough to be as portable as a beach towel, and will allow you to carry your own solar generator with you wherever you go. Of course this technology is brand new, and like all new technologies, there are improvements ahead – prices are set to drop by half, industry sources say, and new advancements are making solar panel technologies ever more efficient.
Now the traditional solar panels have been around for years, but it was hardly portable, with a rigid and bulky frame. The advent of the new flexible solar panels means that solar power can now be harnessed like never before. The best part is that the amorphous cells that make up flexible and portable solar panels are actually much cheaper to manufacture than the traditional ones. The only problem when flexible panels first came out was that they were less efficient than the standard ones. But that’s something that changed rapidly, as the technology improved. The newest panels developed use three different layers, each of which are keyed to absorb the energy from sunlight from a different part of the spectrum, making for a solar panel many times more efficient than older designs. And that efficiency is irrespective of weather conditions – the new panels work better than the old irrespective of whether weather conditions are cloudy or hot..
Flexible solar panels are an excellent solution for powering small electrical devices when on the move. A tent sized one has considerable power, and could easily keep a laptop going as well as charge small devices like cell phones, but even a flexible solar panel incorporated into a hat or backpack could power an ipod or cell-phone. The flexible panels are extremely light in weight, making them easy to carry, and best of all, they’re cheap..
And you can imagine just how useful these panels could be on a boat, with all that deck area to spare. They’re easily rolled up and stored, so you don’t have to worry about them getting damaged if the weather gets rough, and while the weather is fine, the sun provides you with usable power. And the panels are waterproof, so there’s no problem with them getting a little wet..
Attaching this solar panel system to any suitable surface isn’t difficult – they have corner grommets that can be secured to fastenings on any surface, which I recommend in general if you might have to roll them up in a hurry, or, if you want them in place permanently, you could use double-faced tape. Velcro is also another nice way to attach them to a surface and ensure that they’ll be easy to remove when you need to put them away..
There’s quite a variety of solar energy panels on the market, depending on your needs and the wattage you’ll require. It goes without saying that you can increase the amount of power produced by increasing the surface area – on a boat, or the surface of a tent, for example, there are considerable possibilities. Generally speaking, I’d advise you to assess the kind of power you’re going to need before shopping for your flexible solar panels.