Solar panels are spreading all over the world—on homes, businesses, sports stadiums, schools, and about any other infrastructure you can think of. But if you open your eyes a little wider, you can find solar panels inside gadgets, floating on reservoirs, and even flying in the sky.
Amazon just opened up its new Solar Power Store in India, where consumers can choose from a selection of over 400 solar powered gadgets ranging from cell phone chargers to miniature fans to keep the heat at bay. These electronics are ideal for the sunny weather and make great gifts for campers and hikers.
But you don’t have to travel to India if you’re looking for a solar gadget. Utah-based Goal Zero sells a charger that you can plug all of your wireless devices into for a quick recharge—tablet, E-reader, cell phone, you name it. Here are 8 solar chargers that you can compare.
The largest floating solar facility by capacity (2.3 MW) is now operating in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The plant is floating on a reservoir that provides water to rice farmers. Two other floating plants (1.7 MW and 1.2 MW) began operating last month. Due to the lack of land available for solar plants, Japan is turning to the water to house its solar power.
This solar-powered bike path began operating in the Netherlands six months ago, and it has produced more power than initially expected—enough energy to power a home for an entire year. Now can you imagine how much energy we could produce if all of our roads and parking lots were covered with solar panels?
While we don’t have solar powered cars just yet, you can find solar-powered car chargers all over the world. As Tesla continues its work on its Model 3, the company continues to install these solar car chargers around the world. In order to make these electric cars a feasible option for the everyday person, Tesla has to plant these chargers everywhere.
We might not have solar powered cars driving around, but there is a solar plane flying above us. The Solar Impulse II is on a mission to circumnavigate the world without using a drop of fuel, and has been embarking on its journey since March. The next leg of the mission is ready for take off, as soon as the weather permits. Swiss Pilot André Borschberg is attempting to fly the plane solo on a 5-day trip from China to Hawaii, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating as hoped.
And last but not least: You guessed it—there’s a solar boat floating around as well. The boat is owned by German entrepreneur Immo Stroeher, who took the vessel on a world tour in 2010.
Solar isn’t just for roofs anymore. Everyone is realizing the limitless potential that solar offers and a handful of creative, innovative people are taking advantage of the sun. Learn about solar options for your home from Exact Solar.
Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is a writer and editor from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about environmental issues, sustainability, and health. She can be reached at [email protected]