The sun is integral to human survival as farming relies on the rays of the sun, it is also our sole source of light and heat. Photovoltaic cells or panels are used to absorb the sun’s rays and turn them into energy that has a wide variety of applications. Solar energy greener source of energy which is why it is being used in many areas, following are some of them:
Street lights consume a lot of power and need a large integrated system of wires to be powered. Shifting them to solar energy not only makes them more environmentally friendly but also makes them easy to maintain. Latest all-in-one solar street lights are designed to be a complete system with solar panels, battery, power control and other necessities built into a compact design, this eliminates a lot of wiring and makes the light a self-sustaining system. The newest solar street lights come with a lot of other useful features like motion sensing and CCTV cameras.
This is perhaps the most obvious use of the sun’s energy. Photovoltaic panels can be installed on rooftops of homes and offices to harness the energy of the sun and convert it into electricity. This application has gained a lot of popularity and innovations are being made in the area. For example, power management systems allow households to put the excess electricity in the city’s powerlines, avoiding waste of power and preventing accidents. Solar batteries allow users to store the electricity produced by the solar panels and use it after the sun goes down. Such systems can allow users to go completely off-grid from the conventional electric supply system.
Techniques are being deployed to use the heat of the sun to heat water for domestic use. A solar panel on the roof absorbs the heat of the sun and transfers it to the water tank. Water in a swimming pool can also be heated using the sun, the water is passed to the collector, which receives heat from the solar panel, and once it is heated, it is pumped back into the pool. There are many kinds of solar water heaters like the batch collector, the flat-plate collector, the evacuated tube collector, etc. These might seem expensive at first glance but according to the American Department of Energy, they offer great payback.
One of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels is the automobile industry, so it makes sense that efforts are being made to develop transport that is powered by solar energy. The idea of solar cars is brilliant, as they are sustainable, environmentally friendly and cause less noise and air pollution. Developments are being made in the field but only a few companies have launched working solar cars. The ‘Sion’ car by Sono Motors has 248 solar cells and can travel almost 250 km on a single charge.
A great application of solar energy is the creation of portable chargers. You can charge your devices like phone, laptop, camera, etc on-the-go with the help of portable solar panels. Unlike some other uses of solar energy, this one is actually very common and a lot of products are available in the market. Manufacturers are introducing interesting features like waterproofing, fold-able, easy to store, lightweight, etc. If you travel a lot or go camping, you should definitely buy a portable charger, it can be your saving grace in many situations.
The sun might be a source of heat but that does not mean you can only use it to warm things up, solar ventilation systems can actually help you cool your home. Attic fans that get electricity from solar cells are a great way to achieve ventilation without increasing your electric bill. They are a great option if you can’t afford to fully shift to solar energy but want to lower your home’s temperature.
Solar energy is an unlimited, green, eco-friendly resource that is being harnessed in very creative ways. It is being used to create electricity, power cars, heat water, and even illuminate streets. While some solar products are expensive right now, it is only because the technology is not as prevalent, as more people start using solar energy, the prices will become more affordable.