The Sky’s The Limit: 14 Promising New Advancements in Solar Power

Flexible SolarWindow Glass

Another step forward in solar windows is the incredibly thin, bendable ‘glass veneer’ that could be applied to skyscraper, car and plane exteriors. Developed by SolarWindow, this flexible glass was created by applying layers of the company’s liquid Electricity Generating Coating to Corning Willow Glass and then laminating it. The result is as thin as a business card.

Mirrored Light-Reflecting Canopy Directs Sunlight to Solar Panels

In an example of how the design community can produce decorative items that complement the renewable energy industry, Carlo Ratti’s Sun&Shade canopy features automatically rotating mirrors that follow the movement of the sun and direct its rays to nearby solar panels. The prototype was unveiled at Dubai’s Museum of the Future. The designer notes that the resulting focused beams of light would be carefully placed to avoid burning anything, an important factor considering how many mirrored skyscrapers accidentally set nearby objects on fire.

Solar-Powered Pipe Desalinates Ocean Water

Proposed for the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative by Khalili Engineers, this solar-powered pipe is covered in solar panels on its exterior, which pump seawater through an electromagnetic filtration system. Inside is a recreational facility for tourists to enjoy mineral salt baths and views of the sunset, all while providing drinkable water to the city of Santa Monica, California.