Solar energy is spreading day by day. However, there are places that we don’t expect to see solar panels. And then again, there they are! Through this list we will check out 5 of the most unexpected places where you will find solar cells.
5. Bike lanes
Bikes and solar energy = clean environmental heaven. The first solar bike lane, which was developed back in 2015, can be found in Krommenie, Netherlands. Looking back after a year, the solar path was used by more than 150,000 people and produced more energy than expected (over 3,000 KW hours of energy). Something that makes this achievement even more of a phenomenon is that just a month after the path was opened, bad weather conditions damaged a part of it and that part had to be shut down. Places such as Korea and Poland have followed the Dutch example and have launched their own solar energy generating lanes.
It makes a lot of sense to put solar panels as close as possible to the sun, to gain more energy. Still, it’s hardly possible that someone looks up in the sky and expects to see solar panels, let alone planes flying on solar power. Planes like that have existed for the last 38 years and the first man flown aircraft moving around the sky with solar energy was “Mauro Solar Riser” back in 1979. From then until now, this type of energy usage for airplanes has increased significantly. Lately, one of them has made a trip around the world, about 40,000 km, without using fossil fuels at all.
If you live in a sunny environment such as California and want to save money on batteries, why not get a solar watch that runs on sun power? Solar watches have been around for the last 47 years and there’s a variety of shapes and sizes. You can get a cheap solar watch in websites like aliexpress for $8 or purchase a luxurious and expensive one that goes above $1,000.
2. Trash cans
One of the last places you would expect to have solar panels are trash cans. Since the internet has influenced everything, trash cans can use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to let waste management companies know when they are filled up. Projects like Bigbelly have used this kind of technology and they power it through solar energy, and thus reduce waste collecting costs by up to 75%.
This is not an article that in anyway promotes tobacco consumption, but it’s fascinating to see how solar panel technology has been embedded even in things like lighters. The days of blocking the wind from blowing out your lighters’ fire are almost over. Now all you need to do is just point it at the sun.