When we think about the technology at the forefront of sustainability and renewable energy efforts, we tend to think big. We imagine intelligent watering systems, solar lighting systems, electric vehicles, and so on. These are all critically important comments of modern green efforts. But when we think only of finished products and systems, we can ignore some of the actual technology that makes it all possible — such as advanced printed circuit boards.
In the past, PCBs were relatively limited, and the fabrication process behind them was challenging and meticulous. Today though, PCBs can be constructed in ways that are ideal for a variety of green technologies. They can be made flexible or with densely packed components, such that they retain power in smaller and more durable designs. They can also be made with a wider range of materials, which can further contribute to durability (and which in itself can be more “green”). And the actual creation process now lends itself to a great deal more creativity. Fabricators can verify PCB designs with software as they go, such that they can conduct more trial and error in search of perfected end products.
All of this has led to vastly improved circuit boards, which are driving green efforts forward in a variety of ways:
Among today’s green efforts are widespread attempts to better monitor our environment. This comes down in part to outdoor electronic systems and Internet-of-Things devices, which can be used to do things like track water levels, monitor wildlife, and record temperatures. All of these efforts contribute to a better understanding of climate change, and can help drive sustainable efforts. And all depend on small but strong devices powered by advanced PCBs.
Lawn & Garden Care
Many people waste water on lawn care, by running sprinklers when they don’t need to, watering streets and driveways, and so on. But with today’s electronics, intelligent lawn care systems can be installed to assess and respond to weather and ground conditions. They can minimize waste significantly by watering only where and when necessary.
Solar Panel Design
Solar panels require PCBs, or variations of them, to run. And because they exist to attract light and heat, it’s vital that their electrical components be able to stand up to prolonged warm conditions. Modern PCBs have met this need through designs specifically built not to overheat.
Transportation is being impacted in various ways. First of all, the Internet of Things is revolutionizing shipping fleets through a number of specific technologies meant to make routing more efficient, and thus reduce waste. Additionally, ordinary drivers are benefiting increasingly from everything from electric cars to intelligent urban traffic systems designed in part to minimize idle time. All of these benefits depend upon networks of advanced electronics.
In all of these examples, it’s clear that as much as we focus on the big picture, today’s circuit boards and advanced electronics are playing a significant role in green initiatives.
AUTHOR BIO: Theodora Evans is a freelance writer who is passionate about sustainability, green business, and smart technology. When she’s not in front of her laptop researching and writing, she loves to bake for her husband and two kids.