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Over the next few years there will be an explosion of new products that will enhance our lives and begin the long road towards the reduction in consumption of traditional energy sources. Everything from solar powered cars, solar power balloons, even portable solar power systems and portable solar power cells will be available in mass quantities. There is a great deal of work to be done yet to take many excellent solar energy experiments and turn them into products that are reliable and can be mass produced for consumers to use in their every day lives.
Solar powered cars have been developed at a prototype level, they have participated in races across the desert and there are a number of universities and research labs that are actively working on perfecting some of the issues that continue to plague their development. The equation that governs solar power cars is complex, however if you think about the problem from a practical perspective for a few minutes the challenges become clear.
For example, present day cars are heavy requiring a lot of energy to move them, they are not aerodynamic and experience a lot of wind resistance, they need batteries which are inherently heavy to store energy and the materials that are used in their manufacturer are not economically viable. Still, many people and organizations are continuing to experiment to solve some of these problems and others to improve efficiency and reduce the energy needed to power these cars as well as all of the standard electronics that most consumers have become used to.
Solar power balloons are devices that scientists are looking at as a possibility to generate electricity from solar energy. The basic concept is for large balloons filled with helium to make them float, covered by solar panels to generate electricity and tethered by an umbilical chord that does double duty. The chord must deliver helium and transfer the solar generated electricity back to earth. There are a number of different versions of this concept and scientists are working to determine what the issues are to make this idea a viable solution. Wind makes the control of the balloons difficult, heating and cooling of the balloons and location of this technology will also be an issue for many people. Other ideas for solar power balloons include a series of small balloons that are linked closely together which act as collectors aiming the concentrated suns rays at solar generators. Each of these solutions must deal with rain, dirt and insects that will impair the efficiency of energy generation.
Portable solar power systems and portable solar cells are already making an entry into the marketplace for a variety of situations. Everything from highway signs that are in remote locations to campers needing power to run radios, cell phones and computers or just to provide light around the campsite at night. Conceptually they generally work the same.
There is a solar panel to generate solar energy, there is a battery storage system, there is a regulator to ensure the batteries are not overcharged, there is an inverter to convert DC current to AC current so that a standard appliance can be powered by them and there are connectors to connect external devices to these portable solar power systems.
Besides application possibilities of solar power at home and in modern daily life, these visions and solar energy experiments will provide new solutions to our energy needs in the near future. The cheapest energy solution in generating electricity is to get the step-by-step DIY plans "Make Solar Power". It explains in a fully illustrated manual and easy to follow videos how to build your own solar panel at home and reduce your energy bill.