Solar Panels are All Around Us [Photos]

Six photographs each telling its story of how solar panels are contributing to our daily lives.

Rosetta landing Philae on Comet 67P-Churyumov-GerasimeESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab / CC BY-SA 2.0

Solar Panels are by now an essential part of space exploration. At the time of writing Philae is still ‘asleep’ using solar PV to recharge its batteries. Analysis has begun on organic samples which have been collected from Comet 67P. It may be a while before these discoveries impact our daily lives but did you know that the satelites which run the GPS system are solar powered?

Bike Traveller With Folding Solar Panelsdocentjoyce / CC BY 2.0

It is very possible that without the science developed through space exploration neither the light-weight bike nor the 15 folding solar panels connected to a lithium ion battery would have been available to this modern-day cycle-tourist.

Solar Array on Barcelona's Port Forum Waterfrontjoaco / CC BY 2.0

Europe’s largest solar panel array, to be found on Barcelona’s Port Forum waterfront. It is 10,500 sqm and is thought to reduce Barcelona’s carbon emissions by 440 tonnes per year.

Solar Panels Shading Cars in Las VagasJ. N. Stuart / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

An opportunity for joined-up thinking. Drivers need rest, cars need shade, solar panels can provide shade as well as make electricity. This parking lot is in Las Vagas where a growing market for electric vehicles can use solar power to re-charge while they take their break.

Solar Panels on Taquile Island Julia Manzerova / CC BY-ND 2.0

It doesn’t need to be glamorous or high-tech to be effective.

Solar Panels on Your HomeLydia / CC BY 2.0

Solar Panels can work for you too. Lower energy costs, reduced environmental impact and the incentive of income from the government Feed-in-tariff.

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