The recent advancement in solar energy technologies is increasing the number of creative applications. 

FREMONT, CA: People imagine solar panels bolted to rooftops or shimmering solar farms in the desert when most think about' solar power.' Announcements of advancement in solar energy technology are, however, made regularly. Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have, for example, developed a solar cell that can yield as high as 47.1 percent solar conversion efficiency. With new and improved materials, like perovskite and organic semiconductors, solar cells continue to be manufactured. These and other discoveries allow for a growing number of innovative solar energy applications, some of which are mentioned below.

Solar Fabrics

They can now stitch small, lightweight solar panels into the fabric of clothing. Embedded in jackets, winter coats, and other types of apparel, solar filaments keep users warmer, power the phone, or provide different portable electronic needs with electricity. Other uses include lighting up facades, awnings, curtains of houses, or powering seats for heated vehicles.

Solar Skins

Solar skin is a new solar technology developed by the Sistine Solar MIT-spin-off, integrating customized designs into solar panel systems. Solar skin is an aesthetic overlay that uses embedded custom images to change any solar panel's look. In order to simultaneously display a vivid image and relay sunlight to the corresponding solar panel with minimum efficiency loss, the system uses selective light filtration. To show company logos or ads, images can be personalized.

Solar-Powered Roads

In the winter months, solar-powered roads have the capacity to produce renewable energy, activate themselves at night, and melt snow and ice. Approximately 80 percent of the country's energy requirements will be provided by covering U.S. roads with solar panels. Panel performance, panel angle, monitoring methods, sunlight hours, and temperature are factors influencing energy output. There is also a difference in road materials like asphalt flexes slightly under pressure, which would weaken rigid solar cells, concrete is much less flexible but would support solar cells better. Many companies and transportation agencies are presently reporting the feasibility of these solar-powered road systems.

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