Cheap, powerful, and available almost everywhere—solar energy is a truly great thing. With these 8 Amazing Sun-Powered Projects, you can turn a sunny day off into some brag-worthy, possibly money-saving backyard tech.

Artificial Leaves Act as Solar Cells, Imitate Nature

 Ahh, the art of camouflage. As technology becomes ever more ubiquitous in our lives we have begun to try and hide it, and blend it in with our surroundings (perhaps you have seen those cell towers that pose as trees). Well now the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Mitsubishi Corp and Tokki Corp have developed an organic thin film solar cell that takes the shape of a common leaf.

Solar Energy Tree

A unique lighting concept that combines avante-garde design with renewable energy technology. A solar tree is an aesthetic means of producing solar energy. It uses multiple solar panels which form the shape of a tree by assistance of poles. This is a project that would symbolise the inherent atmosphere of art, culture and science on campus. This project would be taken by the GE3 as a part of the Golden Jubilee of the Students’ Gymkhana.


Eco.Leaf Solar Curtain Light Incorporates Green Technology Into Everyday Home Product 

Eco-leaf Shade is a unique power harvesting curtain for your windows. What makes Eco-leaf Shade different from others is its E ink and OLED lamps in form of leaves. The high-tech window covering can harvest power from sunlight and heat. It also secures you from sunlight and heat in daytime. At night, the OLED lamps inside the curtain illuminate using the power reaped in daytime. The technology is designed to reduce your carbon footprint.

eco.leaf-solar-curtain-light_designrulz (1) eco.leaf-solar-curtain-light_designrulz (2) eco.leaf-solar-curtain-light_designrulz (3) eco.leaf-solar-curtain-light_designrulz (4) eco.leaf-solar-curtain-light_designrulz (5)

Swiss village hosts world’s first-of-its-kind solar-powered ski lift

The tiny Swiss town of Tenna has put itself on the eco-map by building an innovative solar-powered ski lift. The solar lift is one of the world’s first of its kind, and utilizes a “cable car system” where the solar panels are integrated directly into the lift. The solar ski lift captures as much energy as possible by utilizing swiveling solar panels that follow the sun’s rays Approximately 80 solar panels are incorporated into a 450-meter system that is suspended above the ski lift, which has the capacity to pull 800 skiers up the mountain per hour. To avoid running out of energy during bad weather and snow storms, the ski lift is also connected to the local power supply, so skiers will not be left hanging on in the dark!

tenna-designrulz (1) tenna-designrulz (2)

PlanetSolar – world’s largest solar powered ship

The epic voyage of the Tûranor PlanetSolar – the world’s largest solar-powered boat – will soon come to a close as the ship closes in on its final stretch. The Swiss vessel is a full-bore high-tech solar harvesting machine whose deck is covered in 537 square meters of photovoltaic panels. The array produced enough energy for the boat to navigate the entire circumference of the Earth without any other means of energy.

 SolarWorld and PC-AERO Unveil Two New Solar-Powered Airplanes

SolarWorld and PC-Aero just announced plans to launch two new solar-powered electric aircraft at the AERO Global Show for General Aviation in Friedrichshafen, Germany this month. Flying high on solar power: SolarWorld e-One is a self-sufficient electrically-powered flight system consisting of solar cells, a lithium ion battery and an electric engine. The solar plane is emission-free and powered exclusively by solar energy. The prototype is based on the ultra-light Elektra One Solar plane designed by PC-Aero GmbH.


EIGHT installs solar powered fast-charging station at BMW welt

German firm EIGHT have collaborated with BMW group to unveil ‘ S’, a sustainable installation just outside the BMW welt in Munich. The solar powered fast charging station – designed to match the surrounding architecture of the BMW welt – offers users a pair of combined charging system points. The energy-fueling hub has been implemented on site to create a central hub for electric cars, local public transport and electric bicycles as well as an intersection between local and long-distance transport routes.

eight-point-one-s-BMW-welt-solar-charger-designrulz (1) eight-point-one-s-BMW-welt-solar-charger-designrulz (2) eight-point-one-s-BMW-welt-solar-charger-designrulz (3) eight-point-one-s-BMW-welt-solar-charger-designrulz (4) eight-point-one-s-BMW-welt-solar-charger-designrulz (5) eight-point-one-s-BMW-welt-solar-charger-designrulz (6)

Super-Portable Solar Briefcase Lets You Carry Solar Power Everywhere You Go

Grab the handle of this self-contained solar device and go! SolarBriefcase is an amazing portable generator designed and assembled by North Carolina-based company, LinorTek. Long battery life is ensured due to the master cut-off switch, allowing the device to be stored safely for long periods of time. SolarBriefcase can act as a convenient daily recharging device, and is now available at Alternative Energy, Inc.


Soofa’s solar bench lets people charge electronics on city streets for free

Soofa is made in the USA and the woman-owned business is currently in talks with the City of New York, with hopes of bringing it to other cities across the country as well. We hope to see some Soofas around NYC soon!

Soofa-designrulz (1) Soofa-designrulz (1) Soofa-designrulz (2) Soofa-designrulz (3)