Top 10 industrial uses of solar energy

Solar energy has become such a hot topic that PIF has decided to celebrate ten ingenious solar energy
ideas and solar energy applications that are currently lighting up the tech world.
Solar Plane
The breathtaking Solar Impulse plane, which comprises 12,000 solar panels, can fly day and night using
sunlight alone. After undergoing successful test flights across Switzerland, the Mediterranean, the US (from
coast to coast) and through the night between two continents, the ultimate goal is to attempt the first RoundThe-World Solar Flight in 2015.
Solar Tunnel
A 2.2mile long tunnel in Belgium has been fitted with 16,000 solar panels, over a 50,000-sq metre expanse,
that produces more than 3,000 megawatt-hours of electricity each year. Enough to power 4,000 trains, as
well as the signalling, lighting, and heating for stations and junctions along the high-speed Antwerp to
Amsterdam route. U.S based solar developer, Enfinity, estimated that their installation would lower carbon
dioxide emissions by 2,400 tons annually.
Solar Roads
Solar Roadways are prototyping a miraculous road surface, made up of hexagonal solar panels, that can
collect energy and subsequently pay for itself. Add in LED road markings, and heating elements to prevent
snow and ice build-up, and the possibilities for revolutionising car parks, roads and motorways are virtually
endless.
Solar Stadium
Taiwan’s dragon-shaped \’World Games Stadium\’ is the largest solar-powered stadium in the world. Japanese
architect Toyo Ito’s stunning 50,000 seat arena boasts a 14,155m squared roof covered with 8,844 solar
panels that could potentially generate 1.14 gigawatt hours of electricity each year. That\’s enough to power up
to 80% of the surrounding neighbourhood and more than enough to illuminate the track and field with 3,300
lux of spotlighting.
Solar Paint
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed low-cost solar paint using nano-sized particles
of titanium dioxide that are coated with cadmium sulphide or cadmium selenide. Brushed onto a conducting
material, and exposed to sunlight, the paint creates electricity with a light-to-energy conversion efficiency of
one percent. When that can be increased to a marketable rate it\’ll add a whole new dimension to watching
paint dry.
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