Education and Emerging Technologies in Solar Energy
Solar energy usage has been on a constant rise for years. The power produced by solar energy is efficient, environment-friendly, and cost-effective. Scientists and researchers have been working for decades to make solar energy more available, practical, cheaper to install, and accessible to everyone. Education plays a vital role in this process.
Different academic institutions, research centers, and programs are working with their students to improve the technologies used in solar energy. They’re contributing to the emergence of new ones and upgrading the existing ones. Below, we’ll break down the important link between education and emerging technologies in solar energy.
The number one activity that students can do when it comes to solar energy technologies is to conduct research. Universities are often financed to conduct different kinds of programs in which students get to:
experiment with new materials
test innovative equipment
test solar cell durability
experiment with design
Students are guided by their professors to make a contribution and provide new data and results that are crucial in this field. TopEssayWriting is a great resource for writing research papers, in case you are one of the students involved in such research.
Universities across the globe are connected through exchange programs, mutual projects, collaborations, and more. When two colleges are connected, students get to work with each other and learn about the discoveries of the other half.
These international collaborations lead to the exchange of ideas and knowledge and often result in completely new discoveries. Thanks to the exchange that is happening between the students, the field of solar energy engineering and technology, environmental science, and renewable energy engineering are flourishing.
Plus, students from these academic programs can motivate other students from their campus to follow in their footsteps and be an eco-conscious student. This would contribute to the overall efforts to preserve our planet.
Finally, professionals working in solar energy need to have continual education to keep track of the latest technologies. The field of solar energy is being updated constantly, which means no one is ever fully trained or educated.
This is why there constantly needs to be:
training for using new tools, software, or equipment
The factor of proper education doesn’t end in college. For most solar energy professionals, that’s when it begins.
Latest Technologies in Solar Energy
Now that we understand the importance of education in solar energy let’s take a look at the latest discoveries in this field. Solar power had a 37% rise in the US in 2020, and it continues to grow. So, what are the newest technologies that are being used today?
Let’s break them down.
Perovskite Solar Cells
While Perovskite has been around for a couple of decades, it has only recently been improved to be worth mentioning. Initial issues with the technology mostly revolved around poor durability of only several months. Thanks to the latest research, Perovskite is now predicted to be able to last for more than 25 years.
Other significant benefits include cost-efficiency in manufacturing, short energy payback time, high efficiency in energy production, and more.
Agri-Voltaic Solar Systems
The main benefit of these systems is that they are dual-use, meaning they use the same area for achieving two goals. In this case, it is producing solar energy combined with agriculture.
The systems are designed to reduce excessive heat over the crops and provide partial or full shade when necessary. At the same time, they produce energy, bring additional income to the farmers, and ensure energy self-sufficiency for people in rural areas.
Floating Solar Farms
Installed over large water surfaces such as fisheries or irrigation canals, the floating solar farms provide a cooling effect on it. This creates additional energy and ensures the water temperature stays stable longer. This saves the water from evaporating and leaves more water for irrigation.
While solar energy as a field of research and engineering activity isn't that new, the innovation within this field is tremendous. New technologies are constantly emerging, and the possibilities to improve the usage of solar energy just keep growing.
Education and research conducted at universities or within solar energy companies are the ones to thank. Hopefully, this innovation trend will live on and solar energy will become something we all start applying in our homes.
Josh Garner is an environmental activist and a blogger. He likes to go beyond the typical eco-friendly content and write about the latest cutting-edge technologies in this field. He aims to educate and motivate as many people as possible to act responsibly the easy way.