Innovations in Renewable Energy

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Image by Gerry Machen via Flickr Creative Commons license.
Image by Gerry Machen via Flickr Creative Commons license.

When it comes to renewable energy, capture and storage are two of the key components. As long as you have a way to collect energy from the sun (solar), air (wind) or water (hydro or tidal), you can generate your own power.  Providing you can then store excess energy, you will have the ability to continue generating power even after the sun goes down, the wind ceases to blow or the tides aren’t as high as they were once before. So, the first question then becomes, how do you go about capturing the energy you need to power your home, charge your electric vehicle, heat your water and more?

Fortunately we’ve come across a few innovations in renewable energy we though you might be interested in, above and beyond the more traditional solar panels, wind turbines and hydro-electric dams.

SolarSkin: Camouflage Solar Panels

The first is these solar panels, or SolarSkin panels, created by a company called Sistine Solar. While these panels are similar to the more traditional panels you see on rooftops across the U.S. and around the world, one thing makes these solar panels different. These panels can be custom-made to blend in with your home or mimic the local surroundings. For example, you can have green solar panels which make it look like you have a green, grass roof. If you have a log cabin, you can have panels designed to look like wood logs. Got a tile roof or shingles, no problem. Apparently the technology behind SolarSkin panels allows the company to match most colors and textures.  For a more in-depth look at this innovation, check out TakePart’s article, “The New Green Roof: Solar Panels That Change Colors” and watch this video.

Funnel Wind Turbine: Wind Power Re-Imagined

Traditional wind turbines have been a source of contention for many years. Now, a Minnesota company has come up with a new design and an innovative technology that will hopefully eliminate past problems and generate far more wind power than was previously thought possible. According to the manufacturer, this new turbine design can harnesses up to 600% more energy than a traditional turbine in the same amount of wind. Quite a feat, wouldn’t you say? Take a look at how SheerWind is planning to “change the course of power generation.”

HeliosAltas PowerBall: MicroHydro Done Right

When most people think of hydroelectric energy they think about massive dams and the environmental destruction these often cause. This is not the types of water power we’re talking about here. What we’re referring to is the re-invention of the waterwheel and the innovation of the HeliosAltas company in bringing power to people who otherwise might not have access to such. Through their technology, individuals, towns, cities, communities, companies and countries can utilize existing water resources to generate energy. According to HeliosAltas, its PowerBall® produces zero emission, clean energy at low cost with very minimal environmental impact. Take a look, much better than a building a big dam, don’t you think?

No doubt we will continue to see new innovations in the clean energy industry and I look forward to what the future holds. In the interim, we should, at the very least, do our best to take advantage of the natural sources of renewable energy currently available to us. This will help us become less dependent on fossil fuels and other finite resources.

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