Solar energy is a proven renewable energy technology, which is already growing rapidly in terms of the amount it is used. A significant part of that growth can be attributed to the fact that there are lots of technological innovations still frequently shaking up the industry. One example is the continued development of solar panels that track and follow the sun, an innovation that many believe can potentially improve energy production by up to 20%.

Several startups and companies have invested in solar tracking technology, though so far, none have entered the mainstream marketplace. One interesting recent example is the emergence of Sunfolding, who have used robotics to design solar panels that respond to the sun and weather conditions, protecting itself in harsh conditions, while using a simple air compression mechanism to alter position.

Sunfolding’s technology is specifically designed to last decades without needing to be repaired or altered. Large parts of the product are being designed to be made out of plastic, lowering costs significantly, it’s a promising example of a possible step forward in this area of renewable technology.

Source: Inventor looks to shake up cleantech with smart solar trackers

Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Oregon Department of Transportation

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