Solar power technology has recently taken a giant leap forward and this has an abundance of possibilities for camping and how we use power while we visit the campsite. Now solar powered tents, camper vans, caravans and any other method of camping can use sunshine which is less intense to gather energy. Yes, even on a cloudy day!
Until now the most important element of generating power from the sun was to have bright sunshine. This is now longer the case as the National Physical Laboratory have recently announced they have managed to create solar panels which are more efficient when the sun is less intense. In fact these new solar panels are up to 3% more effective on cloudy days they are on sunny days.
Researchers at the UK based National Physical Laboratory have been working on solar photovoltaic and organic electronics, and this breakthrough is with cells called organic photovoltaics. They are made up of small organic molecules which act as semiconductors as they’re exposed to solar radiation. But the most amazing thing is they can be dissolved into a solution and then 3D printed in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and then used in whichever way you choose.
For the time being, the only drawback is the fact that organic photovoltaics are currently 50% less efficient than their silicon-based counterparts, however, it is simply a matter of time before the UK laboratory manages to improve this output. Until then, we can start to dream of ways this new technology can improve our carbon footprint and our leisure time.
To get your imagination going a bit more, here are a few facts about organic photovoltaics:
- The material is thin and flexible like cloth.
- It is very lightweight.
- It can be printed in sheets.
- It can easily be added to any vehicle, electronics or cloth based product.
- These materials can be customised through 3D printing.
- They work better than silicon based products in low and diffused light conditions.
- This technology will be widely available in the next 5 years.
Excited about solar powered camping yet? We are!
So what do you think and what would you use this solar technology for?