Solar Energy’s Future Is So Bright It Has To Wear Shades

Photo Credit: Reuters

On the heels of President Obama’s announcement of $2 billion in conditional commitments to key solar companies our clean energy future may have some brighter prospects but much more needs to be done.

So I wondered if sometimes we forget how quickly technology moves ahead and while solar panels seem futuristic for some who knows what solar panels will be like in the future.

Case in point, months ago I did a story on the test flight of a solar plane called “Solar Plane Takes Flight”. Well, what else would I call it? So to follow up I wanted to let you guys know the same solar powered plane recently flew for 26 hours straight, even after the sun went down.


The organizers said the flight was the longest and highest by a solar-powered craft, reaching an altitude of 8,564 meters, just over 28,000 feet, above sea level, at an average speed of 23 knots, around 25 miles per hour.” ~nytimes.com [1]


I’ve been a pilot for 40 years now, but this flight has been the most incredible one of my flying career. Just sitting there and watching the battery charge level rise and rise thanks to the sun. I have just flown more than 26 hours without using a drop of fuel and without causing any pollution.” ~Mr. Borschberg, solar plane pilot

The world needs to know there are possibilities and not only should we be thinking outside the box now, we might want to go ahead and recycle that box cause we may not even need it anymore.

I also came across this video of an origami robot. From the title of the discovery.com[2] post I assumed there was a robot like The Jetsons’ housekeeper Rosy or maybe just her robotic hands folding paper. I thought that might be cool but didn’t see the potential in it or relevance to this site.

Turns out the robot is the origami paper.

Two electrical engineering professors have figured out a way to “program material so that it folds into a predetermined shape when electrified. They’ve considered using this technology to make cups that adjust to the amount of drink poured in them, which sounds like a waste, or using it to make a “‘Swiss Army knife’” type device that contorts into a desired tool” which sounds better.

Watch it folding itself.

So to follow up on a post I also did months ago, MIT scientists created a printing technology that prints solar cells on paper called “Printing Solar Cells On Paper From DOOM’s ‘Papermill’”. What else would I call it? Ok, in the post I explain how one of my favorite MCs, DOOM, got in there. I just thought the origami transformer could be so much more than meets the eye.

Wouldn’t it be cool if they could combine the concepts and take it further?

Could you imagine if the solar cells of the future could fold themselves on your roof?

If they could adjust to the sun moving across the sky during the day for optimal sunlight energy?

I’m just a regular person, not a scientist, so can you imagine what they might come up with and actually make? I think Solar energy’s future is so bright it has to wear shades. Sounds better than The Jetsons and The Transformers to me.

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