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Solar system developments show true innovation

20th Jul 2011

The solar industry is brimming with innovative thinking as the adoption of solar increases worldwide.

One new invention comes from Californian company King's New Energy (KNE), which has launched a line of automatic cleaning systems for solar panels.

The technology debuted over the weekend at the Intersolar North American solar technology conference.

KNE’s system automatically cleans solar panels to ensure maximum energy productivity.

A wireless, water and wiper apparatus can be mounted to pre-existing solar panels, with no need to buy new systems.

Users can use a remote control to start the wipers or set a digital timer to program regular cleaning times.

Solar panels require regular cleaning to maximise efficiency as the build-up of dirt and dust impacts on their ability to absorb sunlight.

In other news, solar technology producers Pythagoras Solar have developed a system that combines two of the most popular clean energy products.

Their solar window is a synthesis of double-glazed windows and the photovoltaic cells which make up solar panels.

Traditionally, double-glazed windows consist of two panes of glass with a gap in the middle that is filled with a gas or empty space.

Unlike single-pane windows, the transfer of heat is reduced by the extra barrier.

Installing such windows allows the interior of the room to keep cool without the assistance of greenhouse-emitting air-conditioning units.

Pythagoras Solar's invention uses the gap to host an array of thin solar cells within the window.

The windows still remain relatively transparent and the implications for the technology are profound.

As the windows are able to generate electricity whilst maintaining their aesthetic function, more vertical space on a building's exterior structure can now be used to harness the power of the sun.

The technology recently saw its public debut in Chicago's Sears Tower and recently won the GE Ecomagination Challenge Innovation Award ahead of 5,000 other entries.

It is innovations such as these that the Australian government is aiming to get off the ground with its recent injection of billions of dollars into the solar research and development industry.

With technological developments hitting the market, it's important to shop around for the solar panel system that will best suit your home, region and budget.

Consumers need to be sure they canvas all available technology to help cut costs and reduce the carbon footprint of their property.

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