Categories: Environment

Toyota unveils innovative solar panel

Toyota presents an innovative solar panel that allows the creation of flexible and customizable photovoltaic surfaces, with many possible uses.

If you find the solar panels ugly and boring, Toyota may have a solution for you: the Japanese manufacturer has just presented a new solar panel technologywhich can be decorated with many patterns and colors.

Indeed, solar panels are traditionally huge black rectangular panels: the reason is that adding colors would block the passage of light, and reduce the efficiency of the photovoltaic panel.

A fully customizable solar panel

However, according to Taizo Masuda, Head of Carbon Neutral Development at Toyota: “Design is crucial for cars, and Toyota has spent many years developing its paint technologies. Just like you choose a car for its design, you should be able to choose from many options when selecting your solar panels. While the earth’s resources are limited, sunlight provides an infinite source of energy. So we wanted to find a way to combine power generation and aesthetics. »

The result of this research has given rise to a solar panel technology coated with a specific translucent automotive paint film, which let the sun shine through to generate energy.

Although paint will always have an effect on the overall efficiency of the panel, Toyota has partnered with solar panel specialists Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings and F-Wave, to develop a solar panel that is both colorful and efficient.

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Many possible applications

Toyota’s solar panels can be painted with many colors and patterns reminiscent of wood, brick, concrete or stone. The objective is to make them almost “invisible”, and to improve their integration into their environment, and thus make them more aesthetic to facilitate their adoption.

The uses are many : we can imagine them on residential or professional buildings, electric cars, and even on non-flat surfaces such as everyday objects, bags or even clothes, which would allow the user, for example, to recharge his smartphone when he moves outside. This solar panel is indeed fin et flexibleand can be integrated into various objects and take on all shapes.

However, this technology will have to be further developed to reduce its cost and facilitate its adoption by as many people as possible, but Masuda and its teams are proud of their achievement, which perfectly embodies their vision of ecological innovation, as a source of hope and not of constraints.

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