Top 5 Blog Posts of 2020

Posted on 01/11/2021 at 12:00 by Seth Hansen

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2020 Title Graphic

2020 was one of the strangest and most challenging years in recent memory. Amid so many world events, we published some of our best blog content to date. 


We walked through a new Custom Solar Design Tool we built, solar solutions for the transportation industry, and compared solar energy harvesting to a coin cell battery. 


In today’s post, we highlight our five favorite posts from 2020.


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How To Use Our New Custom Solar Panel Design Tool Title Graphic


PowerFilm has been providing custom solar solutions in the IoT, military, and commercial spaces for over 30 years. 


But what does that mean? 


Due to the many parameters and complexity of our process, that can sometimes be a difficult question to answer. That’s why we developed a Custom Solar Panel Design Tool to make it easier to understand the different ways we can customize a solar panel.


Learn how to use the design tool with Research & Development Engineer Sam Jones in this how-to video.



Right now, the tool remains within the scope of our Electronic Component Solar Panels, which are smaller panels with few watts that are typically embedded into other electronic applications. However, the same basic concepts apply to all of our product families. 


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In this three-part series, we uncovered three transportation power needs, how those needs are met currently, and how solar solutions can increase efficiency.


Solar Solutions For Transportation Part 3 Battery Maintenance


The first and perhaps one of the least apparent power needs in the transportation space is the under-appreciated battery. If your truck’s battery sits for days waiting on the next load or months during a lull in business, you need to ensure that it’s ready to go when you are. This post explores the vital role that batteries play in powering APU’s, lift gates, and ensuring general fleet readiness. 


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Solar Solutions For Transportation Part 2 Telematics Title Graphic


The second topic, with potentially the most moving parts, is telematics. If you have multiple trucks in your fleet and have orchestrated complex delivery routes dependent on particular time-based goals, you need to know where your vehicles are and that your drivers are abiding by drive-time regulations. 


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Solar Solutions For The Transportation Part 1 Refrigeration Title Graphic


The third topic is the role refrigeration plays in ensuring that perishable goods arrive safe and unspoiled. A trailer full of refrigerated items represents a significant investment and a great responsibility in delivering on time. 


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Solar Energy Harvesting vs Coin Cell Batteries Which is Better Title GRaphic


For small, portable electronics, the 3V coin cell battery is the go-to power solution because it is inexpensive and simple to use. 


Many microcontrollers, sensors, and reference designs are built around coin cell batteries, making designing with them very easy. Since they are so popular, mass production has also made them very affordable. 


So, if coin cells are such a great solution, what’s the point of energy harvesting? Energy harvesting extends battery life, expands functionality and resilience, and enables compact and flexible devices.


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Our Custom Solar Design Process Title Graphic


Inspiration can strike at a moment’s notice. 


One minute you're at a cafe sipping coffee and reading a magazine when all of a sudden, the lightbulb turns on and your next great product idea is born. 


While creativity is crucial to a successful product, equally important is a process that leads to efficient development, shipping on time, and delighting customers.


Solar design can be a bit overwhelming, but over the past 32 years, we have designed a process that makes developing your next product collaborative and cost-effective.


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What Features Are Most Important For Energy Harvesting PMICs Title Graphic


Energy Harvesting Power Management ICs (EH PMIC) are critical components of energy-autonomous electronics. They connect PV, energy storage, and the load ensuring power flows efficiently between all components. 


Not all PMICs are the same. Many come with a range of features that make them suitable for different applications or environments, so it can be challenging to pick out what's most important. 


Below is a list of the most critical PMIC features you need for solar and light energy harvesting applications.


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We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog posts in 2020, and we look forward to publishing many more in 2021!


Do you have ideas for posts? Or want to get in touch?


Please leave a comment below or contact us. 


We look forward to connecting with you!


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Categories: Solar Education