For quite some time now I have been following the progress of the solar power industry. I just got word this morning that Heliovolt, a company that has made many advances in Thin Film solar collectors, has a new man at the helm that they hope will take the company in a more positive direction. What does this mean? Who cares? I know that I don’t care until they actually start production and I can get my hands on the stuff to wrap my house in. However, it is still important from the perspective that this technology actually exists. Unlike standard solar cells, Heliovolt’s product can be printed on to thin metal or glass.

One application I read about was one where you could print (just like a computer printer) the material on windows to be used for skyscrapers. The idea being that the windows could power the building.  If printed on thin gauge aluminum sheets you could easily nail this stuff to the roof of your house. But why stop there? why not print aluminum siding with this material? That would effectively make the whole outside of your home a solar collector.

In thinking about this for my home, I realized that perhaps this product could be applied to the outside of an automobile. An automobile like say… The Aptera? Rather than having one big solar collector on the top of the car, why not print the skin of the Aptera with this solar collecting material? I think by doing that you would increase the solar collection efficiency quite a bit especially if the sun is at a low angle in the morning or evening hours.

Not being expert on this new material I have to say that I may be wrong about being able to print solar collection material on the body of the of the Aptera so don’t get your hopes up at my, “What if” statements. None the less, it is food for thought.

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