Solar Panels With Special Uses
By Isabella Woods, Freelance Writer

Even if you’ve lived in the dark these last few years, you’ll know all about solar panels being used as a source of energy for electrical power. In fact, one or two television news headlines reveal that solar panels are used to power cars and even airplanes. But do you know how they have been used to power a woman’s bra or mow your lawn?

Fly Like A Bird

plane pic

Up in the air, Sunseeker II is a completely solar powered airplane. If you’re flying at 3,000 feet – not high by airplane standards – would you want to cross states knowing that you don’t have a conventional engine onboard to keep you in the air? Maybe you shouldn’t rely on this flight to take you on your summer vacation, but this 506 pound airplane with a length of just 23 feet and a wingspan of 17 feet is covered with photovoltaic cells and charges four lithium polymer batteries. They power the 8 horsepower motor to 40 mph. This might not replace Jetblue, but it’s a step in the right direction.

No Effort Lawn Care
You can, however, believe in a lawn mower that saves you visiting the gas station every time you want to mow your grass.

The Husqvarnas automower even remembers the shape and size of your lawn to mow while you sit in comfort marveling as it effortlessly floats around your garden. Just like the autovacs you have seen for inside use (like the iRobot), the same principles apply to the automower. It’s fully automatic yet runs completely from solar energy. Zero emissions help this eco friendly gadget to whiz around your lawn without the noise of the 2 stroke engine disturbing the neighbors.


New Style Sunglasses
Why anyone would need solar powered sunglasses is a mystery until now- one pair has a really good use. They can power your MP3 player while you walk in the sunshine.
The glass collects solar light and transforms it into electric energy. This in turn powers any device you connect to it. Don’t expect to run your household electric supply from the glasses, but an iPod or other MP3 player can run all day as long the sun stays out.

Solar-Powered Pest Control
If you have a crisis with moles, voles and other underground pests who build small mountains from your nicely tendered lawn all over your property, then you consider an underground pest deterrent. The problem with these is remembering to change the batteries as they lose power quite quickly.
The answer is to purchase one of the many solar powered varieties that have become available recently. They’re a small aluminum spindle, anodized and waterproof. The sonic vibrations force the pests run away to your neighbor’s garden. The only dilemma is how to place the units somewhere direct sunlight can power them up all day so they can work all night.

Bikini Power
For the lady who has everything, the latest style in bikini cannot be beaten. It will also serve an extra purpose as it powers small gadgets, provided you’re out in direct sunlight.

The distinctive bikini comes complete with small photovoltaic cells (top and bottom, in case you were wondering) so it works just like any other solar powered gadget. Sunlight is collected by the cells which generate electric power so you can either recharge your cell phone or run your favorite MP3 player direct from your bra. The makers say you can swim in it and still collect solar power.
How strong are your eco views? Are you green enough to look a little foolish wearing or using some of the current inventions or would it be better to sell the parts and take out scrap insurance instead?