7 Surprising Uses of Solar Energy

lily sophia
November 11, 2019

The uses of solar energy are many, including some you may not have realized were possible! Learn about a few of those uses here.

At the moment, renewable energy is growing faster in the United States than all other sources of energy’increasing by 67 per cent between the years 2000 and 2016. Among the most popular types of renewable energy sources is solar energy.

Indeed, Americans have over the years increasingly turned to solar as a way to power their homes, and it’s easy to see why. Solar energy has lots of different uses in the home today. In this article, we explore seven uses of solar energy.

Read on to learn more.

Solar Electricity

Solar electricity is the one application of solar energy that has perhaps gained the most momentum over the years. With the decline in the prices of solar panels, it’s now easier to access solar electricity. More Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental benefits of solar energy, and this has dramatically propelled the adoption of solar electricity.

Typically, a distributed solar PV system is installed on the rooftop of your home. This solar power system generates electricity that helps offset the energy you use at home and sends any excess production to the power grid. 

Once the sun goes down, you can use a solar battery that can store solar energy. The battery connects to the solar power system of your house to power your home overnight. Some homeowners choose to completely get off the grid and rely solely on a solar power system and generator system. 

In some solar panels uses, the homeowner installs the solar PV on a structure adjacent to the home, such as a barn, and connects to the meter through underground cabling.  

Solar Water Heating

What water heating system do you currently use at home? 

Solar water heaters are the second most types of solar panels in American homes today. Installed similarly to solar panels, solar water heaters convert solar energy via inverters.

But solar water heaters do more than just heating your showers. They can make your swimming pool hot as well. But how does that happen?

Well, the first technique (passive solar technique) is to place a solar blanket on top of the swimming pool. The solar blanket attracts the sun’s rays and conducts the heat into your pool, making the water hot. The second technique (active heating technique) involves installing a solar water heater and using it to heat your swimming pool. 

Solar Lighting

Solar lighting is one of the most prevalent solar uses today.  In this application of solar energy, small to mid-sized solar panels that charge and store energy are installed on lamps that come on at night.

At the moment, there are various options when it comes to outdoor solar lighting. For instance, you can opt for simple solar-powered lighting for your pathways at home. Alternatively, you can talk to your local solar contractor for a unique solution for your outdoor heating needs.

Uses of Solar Energy for Cooking 

What if there was a way to upgrade your kitchen and keep your energy bills low? Well, one smart way to do so is to replace your electric oven with a solar oven. A solar oven uses the sun’s energy by converting direct sunlight into the heat you need to cook your food.

Why heat your kitchen during the summer using electricity when the sun can do that for you and help you in meal preparation? The concept behind solar ovens is simple.

These sturdy boxes are lined with a reflective material that attracts the rays of the sun, retains the heat using the lid to make sure there’s even distribution of heat, so your food cooks well. Typically, this lid is made out of glass to ensure better focus of the sun’s rays on your food.

Portable Solar Charging Stations

Portable solar charging stations are another popular way of how can solar energy be used. These gadgets are approximately the size of a tablet and connect to your devices such as laptops, mobile devices, tablets, GPRS trackers, and so on. Solar charging stations charge your gadgets using the energy they collect from the sun.

So who can benefit the most from solar charging stations? Backpackers, campers, and anyone on the go can find these gadgets very useful.

To ensure that your portable solar charging station receives enough charge from the sun, make sure that it’s receiving adequate direct sunlight. One way to do so is to place it on the dashboard of your car if you’re driving or a seat in your vehicle that’s in the sun. If you’re walking, hook the charging station on to your backpack.

Room Solar Heating

Keeping your home warm and comfortable can mean spending a lot of energy. A great way to keep your heating energy bills low is turning to solar space heating. Some of the common solar space heating systems include pairing with a forced hot air system to heat the home.

Some homeowners also opt for solar heating to power radiant floors. A passive solar home design can also heat your home in the winter by considering the materials used in the home or the placement of windows. 

Solar Ventilation

Another answer to what is solar energy used for is as a ventilation solution in your home. How does it work?

Well, you could opt for solar attic fans, which can help reduce the burden on your HVAC. These attic fans cool your home during the summer. This is a particularly smart option for homeowners who aren’t in a position to install a PV system to offset your home’s electricity use.

There are also solar ventilation technologies that can help preheat a building a building’s air in cold climates, keeping energy costs low.

Welcome to a Solar-Powered Future

Renewable energy has already become a familiar part of the lives of many Americans today. As innovation continues to bring new applications of solar technologies, we can only look forward to a cleaner world. In the future, there will definitely be a lot more uses of solar energy, and that means an improved lifestyle.

Do not miss out on these life-saving benefits. Invest in a solar energy storage system.

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