The advantages of solar energy are many and so are the environmental benefits associated with its use. However, like all things good, solar energy too has a set of drawbacks that need change. The first and foremost problem associated with the use of solar power is the high cost of solar panels, which is mainly attributed to not just the high price tag of materials employed, but the manufacturing process as well. The Solar Pocket Factory, by Alex Hornstein and Shawn Frayne, the brain behind the innovative Wind Belt wind energy harvesting system, is a prototype that addresses the high cost issue by enabling users to print out a solar panel in their backyard in just 15 seconds.
After successfully funding the project through Kickstarter, the inventors now believe to revolutionize solar panel manufacturing process, by making panels cheaper and reducing the number of defects. The small automated machine can churn out panels on the smaller scale than a conventional factory. Resembling a 3D printer, the team hopes to release a full working model by April next year. The innovative machine can be placed in a backyard and used to spit out a solar panel every 15 seconds, which means that just one machine could theoretically produce enough solar energy harvesters to power a million devices each year.