Solar power on a roll

Scientists were already using sunlight to obtain energy as early as the last century. Charles Escoffery, for example, invented the “solar car”, which at the time caused quite a stir among scientists.

Generating renewable energy was a subject that the Nobel prize winner and nanotechnology pioneer Richard Smalley later also pursued. Years ago, he had already predicted that a breakthrough in photovoltaic technology would be required. “I guarantee that it will be an innovation on the nanometre scale.”

He turned out to be right. Nanotechnology research now makes for highly innovative and alternative energy generation. Solar roofs “on a roll” have already become a reality. It is not only in sunny California that flexible, large-scale sheets of plastic foil are being used to generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way – in Europe, too, this modern form of energy generation is becoming ever more popular.

The advantage: Only a very thin layer of material is required to achieve the photovoltaic effect, with energy generation being initiated even in diffuse light. Polycrystalline solar cells are also being used. They are not only cheaper to produce than their monocrystalline predecessors, but also less complicated to install.

It won’t be long before entire houses will be built completely out of solar-friendly materials. Solar cells will then not only be used on roofs, but also for facades, doors and windows. This saves energy and protects the environment.

Renewable energies: One of VCC’s investment markets.