Invisible Solar Streetlight
Johong Lee, an Industrial Designer from South Korea, has developed a clever, non-invasive, invisible solar streetlight. The streetlight is an innovation that brings solar power and beauty together. These lights collect energy throughout the day and provide soft, elegant light during the night. They easily intertwine with existing branches on trees, and do not require a power source 14.
Konarka has created technology to take solar power above and beyond its current state of development. Konarka's technology, called Power Plastic, consists of a photovoltaic material that captures indoor and outdoor light, and converts it into direct current electrical energy. This energy can be used immediately, stored for later use, or converted to other forms. Konarka claims that Power Plastic can be applied to a limitless number of potential applications, including but not limited to microelectronics, portable power, remote power, building-integrated applications 15. This technology has the potential to revolutionize how and where we harness the powers of renewable energy from light.
Renewable Battery Power
One of the most rapidly advancing technologies is renewable battery power. Researchers at London's Imperial College are currently developing devices that run from the power they emit. This technology creates self-powered devices, which would eliminate the need for an external charger. For small electronic devices, the outer shell would be made out of this material and would serve as the charging element. Researchers are particularly optimistic and excited about the impact this technology could have on the car industry. Roofs, car doors, hoods, and other external parts of the car created from this material would eliminate the need to recharge hybrid car batteries 16.