Thousands descend upon Sin City for one of the year’s biggest conventions showcasing consumer electronics. A growing trend of solar PV technology can be seen in some of the most innovative products of 2014.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show is set to kick off this week in sunny Las Vegas. Over 150,000 guests are expected to attend this conference, which showcases the newest in technology and innovation. That includes solar innovations. As solar PV technology becomes more widely available, it is beginning to permeate into many different markets and is being used in new ways.
Ford Motor Company is showcasing a new all-electric vehicle that features a solar panel on the roof to recharge the battery while away from a charging station. This can be particularly useful for those who park their cars in the sun during their work day, cutting down on charge time elsewhere, reducing the cost associated with charging the vehicle, and increasing the range overall. Low range and long charge times have been two of the major drawbacks to owning an all-electric vehicle. This new use of solar PV will make these eco-friendly and petroleum-free vehicles more practical and further propel them into the mainstream.
Some other examples of solar charging technology have come in much smaller sizes: a battery-equipped purse that can recharge your cell phone using solar panels, and an iPhone case that includes a small panel on the back to recharge in the sun on the go. This entry into wearable technology and personal electronic recharging is a great indication of just how widespread solar is, and how the applications of using the sun to power our daily lives is becoming a common idea.
It will be interesting to see how the industry responds to these new applications and uses of solar technology. There are many more untapped products and markets that could use the power of solar PV technology to enhance the user experience, increase portability for our digital gadgets and vehicles, and reduce the need for fossil fuels and conventional electronic sources. The only limit is that of the manufacturer’s imagination — and the consumer’s pocketbook.