Although summer may be coming to an end, the region of Murcia is lucky to enjoy one of the highest levels of solar radiation in Spain, meaning that Solar Energy can be harvested from the sun right through winter.
Technology is constantly being developed and advanced to help us make the most of this free resource and at the same time reduce harmful emissions and our impact on the environment. Some of the latest developments that have been reported in the press recently include:

• Solar Vehicles

Motorhome or caravan owners may be familiar with using Solar Energy to provide power for those times when it is not possible to connect to the grid. However, vehicles which use Solar Energy to run are getting closer to becoming a real option. Companies such as Hyundai and Toyota are developing Solar Cars which convert the sunlight to energy and recharge the battery to enable the car to function, even during the night or in the absence of sunlight. There are several advantages to Solar Cars over conventional ones.
They don’t require any fuel to run and so are emission-free
They have low maintenance costs.
They are made from lighter materials and have smaller engines so are faster, quieter and smoother to run.
Taking all that into account, the market is expanding rapidly and there is increased demand from consumers for commercial Solar Vehicles.

• Power Bricks

Using new nanotechnology enables house bricks to be turned into batteries that can store electricity. According to the Guardian, the bricks are technically supercapacitors rather than batteries, as they store electricity as a static charge in solids rather than through chemical reactions as in batteries. The first examples can store enough electricity to power small lights, but if their capacity can be increased to store more energy, they may become a low-cost alternative to lithium-ion batteries, which are currently used. The invention may mean bricks along a nearby wall could be charged up from solar panels on a household roof and be available to provide power at a moment’s notice. However, the process weakens the bricks, so they probably won’t be able to be used in load-bearing walls, but more as decorative features, so it will be interesting to see how this development evolves.

Meanwhile as developments in Renewable Energy continue apace, more and more companies are keen to expand their use of Renewable Energy and become carbon neutral. Apple has recently pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and Bosch is expanding its in-house power generation. As big business adopts and uses more Renewable Energy, it will help to ensure more products and options continue to become available for us as consumers also.

For more information on Solar Electricity; Solar Water Heating; Solar Pool Heating and Solar Ventilation, email Free-Sol Solar at