CREDIT: JUHO KIM, ET AL/ APL

We’ve all been using solar photovoltaic (PV) power for years to generate power in the home. Why, because it’s affordable – and has been getting more affordable as the technology advances. But it is also adaptable. It is big enough to power a whole manufacturing company, but it can be scaled down to power much smaller items.

South Korean scientists have actually developed solar PV cells that are 1 micrometer thick. To put that in a visual representation for you, that’s about the width of one human hair! And about 100 times thinner than most PV cells. (You can read the full research paper published in Applied Physics Letters last June.)

You’re probably wondering, why is this so important for me?

Well, with these kinds of developments, not only is the ‘where’ can we implement solar going to change, so is the ‘how’. With these cells being so thin, it is a possibility that they can be integrated into all sorts of items – clothes, hats, glasses or backpacks. Can we hear you say no more flat mobile phones?

This got us thinking – how are we already seeing solar incorporated into products already on the market?

  1. Jackets – the clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger has already got a solar powered jacket on the market. While this might not be the most subtle use of the cells in a wearable, can you imagine how these new smaller cells are going to change that? See how the jacket works here.
  2. Tents – taking camping trips to a whole new level. Imagine not having to worry about powering your lights, small appliances and other electronic devices – when you’re out in nature.
  3. Lawn mowers – taking robotics and solar to a new level, the Roomba vacuum of the outside world, solar powered lawn mowers are a thing. They are also the perfect solution to not actually having to mow the lawn yourself, which is of course a bonus. Yay for technology!

This is only the start of where we will see solar PV cells working to improve how we live.

Don’t wait to see how solar can transform your home. Request a quote today.

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