What are some recent advancements and developments in solar energy use?

I’m doing a science report on solar energy, but I’m having a hard time finding information on more recent advances and developments in the area of harnessing solar power or putting it to use.
Also, how do solar chargers for cell phones, etc, work? Do they usually hook directly up to a solar panel, or do they connect a solar panel to a small solar cell, or…?

2 thoughts on “What are some recent advancements and developments in solar energy use?”

  1. one recent invention is a solar film, not a solar panel. Please look up solar film on goggle or yahoo and you should find something about it.

    Whats cool about it? I believe they said it was 10 times more efficient and it can mold to surfaces such as the top of a car, they can cover a whole roof and its much cheaper. The government is currently having its hands on this so its off limits right now.

    Also, sooner or later you can just print it out on a high speed printer. The company is looking to ways to make it even cheaper. Just like the old HUGe Computers of the past, so will the solar panel disappear

  2. one simple device i’ve seen is a solar collector designed to heat water for residences. one variety consists of a piping or tubing laid out in a spiral shape or a rectangular panel, facing south to harness the sun’s rays to heat the water. it’s the same principle, as the ‘sun shower’ used by outdoors enthusiasts.

    some examples…

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