The sun is one of the primary sources of energy and is very important for all life on Earth. No organism can thrive without the sun and all food chains would perish within a few days if the sun was to stop shining. Solar energy has been around for centuries and has been harnessed in one way or another.
The sun produces two different types of energy; light and heat. Both types of which have many uses in this modern-day lifestyle. Some of the most common uses include producing electricity and heating up food and water. Even plants use solar for photosynthesis, turning solar energy into chemical energy and producing fossil fuel.
There are several interesting ways solar energy can be used in a household. Let’s take a look at some of them.
The most common use of solar energy is generating electricity to power up the household. This use has gained a lot of momentum in recent years and for good reasons. Solar energy enables the generation of cheap and eco-friendly electricity.
The amount of electricity that can be generated from solar energy depends only on the number of panels you are willing to install. You can produce enough electricity to power your house and distribute abundant electricity to the electric grid.
Solar energy is being used to generate electricity in all kinds of places. Big manufacturing organizations use solar energy to speed up their production process and also reduce their carbon footprint. Many big businesses like shopping malls and housing complexes use commercial solar street lights instead of conventional ones. This reduces the overall cost and also helps the environment.
Solar Water Heating
Not many people know about this use of solar energy. Solar water heaters are available in the market that can be used to heat up water to be used inside the home. Solar water heaters use rooftop cells to absorb the sun’s heat and then transfer the heat to the water tank. This provides warm, heated water to be used inside the house for showers, baths, or to be used in the kitchen.
Another interesting application of solar water heating is to heat up swimming pools. Water is circulated through a solar-heated collector and then pumped back into the swimming pool. The U.S. Department Of Energy has declared pool heating to be the most cost-effective application of solar energy”.
Solar Heating and Ventilation
You can use a solar heating system to heat up the entire house or to just some rooms. This is done by installing power-generating radiant floors which can be paired with a ‘forced hot air’ system. Passive home designs use carefully selected construction material and include strategic placement of windows which can help increase the heating effect.
Solar energy powered equipment can also help with the ventilation of a house. For instance, a solar attic fan will help reduce the burden on your home’s HVAC system during summer.
Using solar energy for heating and ventilating your house will also help considerably reduce your energy bills.
A unique trend that is really catching up, even in households that are not completely solar yet. Solar lights are being used to light up gardens, driveways, and the streets. This helps save electricity and also reduces the bills. Solar lights are also available in basic to high-end designs so you can choose from a wide range.
Outdoor lighting is a necessity. It provides a sense of security and safety in the dark of night. The solar lighting will not only light up your landscapes but also provide an elegant look. You can buy solar lights in any color and shape. Also, solar lights are easy to install and maintain which won’t cost you a fortune.
Perhaps a novelty use but still very interesting and entertaining. If you have no power or gas you can use the sun to cook a perfectly eatable meal. All you need is a box, styrofoam insulation, aluminum foil, a cooking bag, a pan, and a thermometer.
The whole concept is based on making a container lined with a shiny substance, i.e. aluminum foil, to focus the solar heat into the cooking chamber i.e. on the pan. There are different types of solar cookers and various cooking plans available on the internet that you can follow.
There are tonnes of other uses of solar energy. You can install solar-powered fountains in your garden. The water pumps will be powered by electricity generated from solar energy. It saves electricity and eliminates the need of installing a special outlet for the fountain.
Big solar umbrellas are also installed in homes nowadays. These umbrellas usually have water sprinklers and some lights installed on them. They are also capable of storing electricity to light up the umbrella at night.
Portable solar chargers are available which can be used to charge your mobile phones, tablets, and even laptops on the go. There are small window solar chargers that can be attached to the window and charge your mobile device with the solar energy they generate and store.
The bottom line is that solar energy is slowly but surely making its way into our lives. The various uses and applications of solar energy are what make it such a success. A few years back no one would have thought of charging up their cell phones with sunlight.
However, this is just a start, the applications of solar energy will expand and help humanity in several aspects.
We hope this post illuminates you regarding various uses of solar energy and encourages you to switch. So you can further explore this efficient and eco-friendly source of energy.