Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have come up with a new solar photovoltaic technology. It uses materials that can be curved and are flexible enough to be molded into electric vehicle rooftops, providing electricity that can extend their range between recharging.
The new technology’s market may also extend to diesel-powered refrigerated trucks, where a solar-powered roof could provide enough energy to help power the cooling system and reduce the use of diesel fuel. A third application would be for the wings and bodies of unmanned aircraft that companies use to provide internet coverage for remote areas, as well as other applications.
Joel Jean, CEO and co-founder of Swift Solar, a San Carlos, Calif., company that has licensed patents for the technology, says it has just begun to make prototype devices for a market that could extend to a variety of products “that move and fly.”