Two years ago, as per the International Energy Agency, new solar photovoltaic capacity went up by 50 percent across the planet. Moreover, additions of solar PV grew quicker than any other fuel.
How exactly is solar being used to change the world? Check out five ways it is being harnessed, according to Sustainable Energy.
1.) Solar-powered aircraft
Solar aircraft provides us with a good idea of how aviation could look in the future. The Solar Impulse 2 is an aircraft powered by the sun, and in 2016, it traveled around the world, but it did so without the use of fuel. It took 17 legs to complete the notable trip.
This past August, a European solar aircraft finished a maiden flight that took just under 26 full days.
Then, back in July, the Zephyr S High Altitude Pseudo Satellite left from Arizona and finished the “longest duration flight ever made”, as per Airbus Defence and Space (a division of Airbus committed to aerospace and defense services and products).
The International Space Station is absolutely amazing. In a period of 24 hours, it makes 16 orbits of our planet. But did you know the International Space Station actually uses solar arrays? It uses eight, to be exact. Each solar array is 39 feet wide and 112 feet long. These are used to provide electricity and they come together to make up more than 262,000 solar cells, as per #NASA.
3.) Sports teams
You’re probably wondering how sports teams are connected in any way at all to solar power. Yet, they are! Numerous high profile organizations have begun to make the shift to clean energy, and the concept of #solar panels on buildings is becoming more and more common. It was just announced in August that the training center for the #Los Angeles Lakers is going to use power from 456 solar panels. These solar panels are set to produce roughly 245,000 kilowatt hours each year. This translates as the ability to provide power to 35 homes. Wow!
When it comes to solar, there is an aviation sector involved that isn’t limited to pioneering aircraft. Hawaii’s Department of Transportation released a statement this past summer claiming 4,260 new solar modules are going to be installed at #Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. The solar panels are going to be placed on the Terminal 1 parking garage, on the seventh floor. Their purpose? The energy these solar panels produce is going to be used to lessen the electricity bill for the airport – it’s expected they will actually cut it in half.
Finally, factories. And this is a big one. Have you heard of Bentley Motors? Well, its factory roof is actually covered in more than 20,000 solar panels – closer to 21,000 panels, actually. According to the company, this solar roof is able to meet up to 40 percent of the electrical needs of the site, which allows it to save roughly 2,150 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. And earlier this year, Bentley Motors announced construction has begun on the largest ever solar-powered car port in the U.K. This car port is located in Crewe, northwest England at the factory headquarters, and is made up of 10,000 solar panels.
Clearly, solar power isn’t just for a few select homeowners who want to see the planet make the shift toward the usage of clean energy. Solar power is being harnessed in truly fascinating ways, from space stations to sports teams. Have you noticed solar power being used near you? Are there any major corporations you support which are making a shift to clean energy? Keep your eyes open because you might start to see solar panels going up by you. Going solar can make the world a better, healthier place. It is renewable at no cost and we need to do what we can to lessen pollution. Of course, installing solar panels creates jobs, because someone has to do it. From solar design to the installation of solar panels, there is much to be done. Finally, who doesn’t want to save money? Shifting to solar cuts down the electric bill. This just feels like an added bonus with all the other aforementioned benefits.
Follow solar news to stay in the know! It will be fascinating to see how this clean energy source continues to power our world in the future.