I touched on industrial solar lights in the Hybrid Solar Lighting Technology article, but I would like to go into a bit more detail about some of the uses of solar lights in commercial application and some of the companies that are on the cutting edge of solar technology.
There are a number of companies that are leading the way for commercial solar lighting. One of those companies is Solar Cynergy. “Solar Cynergy manufactures high end architectural solar LED lighting for homes, developments and cities” as well as “an OEM line of Solar Photovoltaic Panels.” They are primarily a manufacturer and have distributors nation wide. Their product line is pretty unique in that they specialize in “solar inground lighting”. Their solar lights have been used in the Las Vegas Panorama Towers Luxury Condominium Project, the Granite Gables development project in Dallas, TX , and at the San Francisco Airport Hilton, to name just a few. I suggest visiting their website and blog to see all of the unique ways they use solar lighting technology.
If you are looking for a company that manufactures and sells a wide variety of solar lights, solar panels and complete solar systems, you could do worse than taking a look at Silicon Solar. These guys are international and widely respected. Take a look at their site. It’s a big site with lots of info.
As these companies are providing us with the opportunity to use solar power for more and more applications, researchers are working harder than ever to further solar technology to be cheaper to manufacture and be more efficient. At the University of Washington, a team of experts headed by David Ginger has been experimenting with manufacturing solar cells out of organic plastic polymers. Paul Berger and his team of researchers has found that adding silver nanoparticles to the polymers allows for an almost 12% increase in their efficiency. Meanwhile at the University of Texas, Brian Korgel and his team are working on a Solar Ink, that can be basically painted onto buildings. Innovalight, a company out of Sunnyvale, CA. is using silicon ink patterned on top of silicon wafers to boost the efficiency of solar cells. While most researches are aiming for a goal of 10% efficiency out of their solar cells, Innovalight boasts an efficiency rating of 18%!
As you can see, we have come a long way with solar technology in a relatively short period of time. Entire homes and businesses are being solar powered and solar lights are everywhere. It will not be long before we will no longer be dependent on fossil fuels for our home and business energy needs.