With summer coming to a close, many people are biting their nails over the electric bill because of all the A/C used on those sweltering days. Maybe you’ve considered solar power as an alternative before and were overwhelmed by all the components required to actually set up a system. Where does someone even get started setting up for solar?
Unveiling the Magic
The science of it may seem complicated at first: photovoltaic arrays, AC-DC inverters, photons, etc. When you think about it in terms of everyday life, though, it’s actually quite simple. Everything starts with the sun, which produces light and heat, and that is turned into electricity. Lightbulbs function with the same concept reversed. Electricity causes microscopic particles (known as photons) to escape the atoms and bounce around, which produces light and heat. A solar panel works in the other way, catching these escaped photons that come from the sun, which creates electricity. (more…)
Wagan Tech inc has come out with a range of very conveniently sized (pocket-able) solar chargers for consumer electronics. They will charge batteries, iPods, digital cameras etc, all from the sun. The units themselves are very lightweight and come in two distinct types.
Printable electronics is a fairly new area of gadgetry; the basic principle is to be able to print out integrated circuits onto almost any sort of suitable material.
The applications for this range from RFID tags for Identification and tracking through to clothing with circuitry embedded in it. But as the ability to print the circuitry comes ever closer, what will be powering your socks in the coming years?