These days, most people know a solar panel when they see one. They’re the shiny, usually black or blue rectangles on top of your neighbors homes and barns. Sometimes they standing in sturdy-looking rows on top of old landfills or out in pastures or fields.
There’s a good chance that some day soon, that type of solar installation will be a thing of the past. In the not too distant future photovoltaic cells might be incorporated into almost everything—roads, parking lots, car bodies and even your clothing. Yes, you read that last bit right: in just a few years you may be wearing solar panels.
If Parent Technology Group has anything to say about it, you won’t be bent over under the weight of metal panels, trailing wiring, either. In partnership with the University of Southern Maine, this Windham-based company is developing ways to make solar textiles a reality. They’re out to make massive gains on the kind of efficiency that could drive the technology to mass-market adoption.
Someday soon, power outlets could be a thing of the past! You’ll be able to plug your phone into your jacket or hat for a charge instead.