When someone says the word solar power, we typically tend to think of the rigid columns atop large building, or the hardcore environmentalist going completely off the grid. However, solar power has come a long way and it is showing up more and more in places that we don’t expect. There are backpacks that can charge your accessories while you walk; cars that harness the suns energy in order to move; and tents that brings the comforts of technology into the woods.
Solar powered products keep making a push into our everyday lives. And why shouldn’t they? Solar power is a clean, reusable energy. It is rather simple process as well; photovoltaic cells absorb the sun and take electrons captive. Once the electrons are caught, if you can manipulate them, make them work together; you’ve got a kinetic energy called electricity.
Sunglasses Playing Offense
What if we put solar power in the most common everyday item; something like sunglasses. Makes sense, right? What other device does an individual own that has more time in the sun than sunglasses? Designers have come up with a prototype sun glass that will not only protect one’s eyes from UV rays, but will convert that energy into electricity.
Your glasses would no longer be on the defense, they are now on playing offense. The solar powered shades would generate enough electricity to be able to power an iPod or cellphone.
How Can this Be?
How do these solar powered glasses work? They use a new technology called Dye-sensitized solar cell or DSC. The DSC works by using a photosynthetic layer, which is used to harness sunlight, followed by a very thin layer titanium dioxide. When the sunlight hits the first layer of the DSC the electrons accumulate on the titanium dioxide and there create an electrical current. From there the electrons are transported by light absorbing dye that take the electrons and transports them into a charge.
A Twist in this Technology
The DSC technology is far more advanced than most solar powers. DSC is able to harness almost eleven percent of the captured light, while other solar panels are only harnessing around four percent. But there could be a potential fatal flaw with these glasses, how often do you stare into the sun?
Sun exposure becomes less of an issue when you think about the diversity of the DSC technology. What really sets it apart from conventional solar power systems is its flexibility. DSC is able to bend and twist, which would enable to be placed on structures that we never imagined solar power going. Even more so DSCs can perform under extreme temperature, where as conventional solar panel loose efficiency when temperatures peak.
One can quickly discern that we are moving beyond the normal realm of the samlex inverter or photovoltaic cells. This type of diversity makes the DSC technology a prime candidate for military use; considering its light and durable figure. It will be interesting to see how much solar power progresses in future, as it has steadily inched its way into modern technology, we should only expect that it would makes its way into our lives.
Not only is it apparent that Ben enjoys writing, but that he actually paid attention during all those classes in California where he earned a B.A. in communications.