Sometimes it is not the technology that has the potential to change the world, but it rather the idea. One such ideas was recently implemented by engineering researchers at McMaster University. The idea is to build flexible solar panels that can be mounted on bus shelters.
They have created solar cells that bends with curved roof of the shelter. It is made by putting silicon on a bendable sheet which is then connected through “propriety method”. The resulting strips are about 90 centimeter long and 12 wide.
The flexibility is achieved by tiling a large number of small silicon elements into an array, mounting them onto a flexible sheet, and connecting them through a proprietary method. The two solar strips installed on the McMaster bus shelter are about 90 centimeters long and 12 centimeters wide. Each strip has 720 one-centimetre square solar cells and generates up to 4.5 Watts of power. source
To some people, this technology alone would seem to be not very transformative. It might even seems trivial, but the idea behind it is by no means trivial. The idea here is, of course, not just putting the solar panel in a bus shelter, but to embed reneweble sources of energy in everyday devices/places.
This idea is very powerful because most forms of renewable energy such as solar is readilly accessible almost anywhere. So if you want to light up a street in the middle of a desert, you can do that. We need to exploit this and start using reweaable energy eveywhere we can. After all we can only gain from this! What is there to lose, and wouldn’t you rather want a bright future with clean energy?