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How to Better the Solar Technology for A More Sustainable Future?

How to Better the Solar Technology for A More Sustainable Future

New technology is coming out everyday, becoming more efficient and advanced each second. Technology makes life easier by having the internet at the tip of your fingertips in a matter of seconds. New apps are created daily to help us with everyday tasks like grocery shopping or calculating your tip at a restaurant. With all this new technology, doesn’t something have to be able to power it all? That is where electricity comes in.

Electricity can be sourced from coal, natural gas, hydropower, and solar power. Something that will pose a huge threat in the next decade is global warming and now technology is speeding up the process. With all this technology, electricity uses many fossil fuels and creates a huge carbon footprint that is extremely bad for our planet. We need to figure out a way where we can get electricity in a more sustainable way, that will be better for our environment.

With some newer technology, it has granted us access to get power from solar. Solar energy works by using solar panels to absorb the photons the sun creates and converts it into energy that we use to power things. Solar panels are a great way to save money on your electric bill and they are a renewable energy source. Solar panels sound like a great option; right? As solar panels may seem like a sustainable way to go for electricity in our future, it does have its downsides.

If I was supplied the resources and financial means, I would do a research project on how we could better the technology of solar panels for a more sustainable future. Solar panels get their energy from the sun. This can be interrupted during the night time, when it’s cloudy, or when there might be snow covering the solar panels. To help fix the issue of snow, I would like to research a prototype of rotating solar panels. These solar panels would be able to move back and forth when it is snowing so at the end of a snowstorm, the snow would no longer be covering the panel. A moving solar panel could also be a great way to move with the sun’s rays. Furthermore, different areas are able to obtain more energy from the sun than others. If more research were able to be done on solar energy, I think we would be able to make various types of solar panels for different areas across the globe.

Another issue with solar panels is its reliability factor. Solar panels can only be charged up to 12 hours a day with the sun. There are storage batteries that are able to charge extra, however these can be expensive and the chemicals that they are made up of are toxic. With additional research, I think we can find a more eco-friendly version of a battery that will be able to store solar energy.
I believe with enough research, we will be able to find a more eco-friendly version of solar panels that are both efficient and reliable. I hope this additional research will help the global warming problem that advancing technology has created.

Note: The article is a submission for Stanford Advanced Materials College Scholarship 2021.

About the author

Julissa Green graduated from the University of Texas studying applied chemistry. She started her journalism life as a chemistry specialist in Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) since 2016 and she has been fascinated by this fast growing industry ever since. If you have any particular topics of interest, or you have any questions, you can reach her at julissa@samaterials.com.

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Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global supplier of various sputtering targets such as metals, alloys, oxides, ceramic materials. It was first established in 1994 to begin supplying high-quality rare-earth products to assist our customers in the research and development (R&D) fields.

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