Everyday Uses of Solar Power

We’ve all heard quite a lot about the benefits of solar energy. We’ve heard about plans to create solar-power plants which will be able to supply energy to whole cities.  We have heard of the benefits of installing a complete solar power system in our homes.  But what about the more simple, daily applications of solar power, which we can put to use easily and on a right-now basis, without the need for large funding sources?

Uses of Solar Energy In Every Day Life

The utilization of solar energy is important in our advances and effort to clean up the environment. Solar power is possibly the easiest to use, and most convenient, of the various clean and renewable energy sources (such as wind, water, geothermal, etc.),

Solar energy has been used since ancient times, as a source of heat. In the 1830’s, another use of solar energy was developed – when a solar cooker was used on a safari. Since that time, many other solar energy applications have been developed, and almost anyone can now take advantage of this technology.

One of the most common uses of solar power is its use as a source of power (i.e., electricity).

Since the 1970’s, people have been installing solar collectors on their roof-tops, and using the power they collected, to run their households. While having enough solar collectors to provide energy for an entire house may not be common, it is becoming more common, as the technology develops.

Most of solar powered homes of this type run their appliances directly from the solar collectors’ power during the day, and store excess power in batteries for use at night.  In this way, the homeowner can avoid ever having to use power that was generated by a non-renewable resource.

Another common application of solar energy is solar water heating.  Solar hot water systems can either use passive solar energy (as in the case of heating a tank of water by leaving it out in the sun), or by using solar collectors with a heat transfer fluid.

These systems require the homeowner to install solar panels, and run tubes behind them which are filled with fluid. The tubes collect the heat from sunlight, and transfer it into the fluid. These tubes, filled with the heated fluid, are run around a water storage system, and the heat is transferred into the water.

Another method of doing this is to simply have water running through the tubing, and set it up to obtain the sun’s heat directly.  The heated water is then pumped into swimming pools, so that a pool heater isn’t needed in order to keep the water warm.

In the last 10 to 15 years, solar manufacturers have begun to develop new, creative applications for solar power. One recent development is the portable solar panel, a popular product used on RVs by vacationers.

On an even smaller scale, there are foldable solar panels which fold out like a small ledger, and can be used to power anything from laptops to cell phones. As time passes, new products along this line are expected to continue to come on the market.

Whichever of the solar energy applications you choose to implement in your own home or life, even a small change to solar power over traditional power sources can help the environment. The more we can use solar energy, the less dependent we become on non-renewable resources, and the more we help the Earth.

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8 Responses to “Everyday Uses of Solar Power”

  1. George@solar power
    April 24, 2009 at 1:32 am #

    I cannot agree with you any more. But I feel that if someone would just get up and mass market solar portable solar panels or equipments that allow the use of solar energy then the transition will be easier. With the amount of money you save, I hope people eventually switch.

  2. Anna
    April 26, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    Thanks George. I agree as well. Improvements can definitely be made. I think this will begin to occur more, as more people become educated in and begin using solar power and other forms of renewable energy. An increased awareness and demand will help a lot.

  3. Hope
    June 25, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    I have a friend who studies engineering and they made this portable solar panel. Yet it costs very high, and of course, if we intend to use it at home, then it would really cost too much. But using solar energy as an alternative source is a very good idea.

  4. bethany
    August 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    I thought it was pretty interesting that a portable solar panel was invented over the past decade, which is much more creative, especially when you consider that it is for RV use.

  5. Anna
    August 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    @bethany – yes, portable solar power is definitely a creative and very useful application of solar energy.

  6. Christine@Solar Power Panels
    August 14, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    RV owners fairly quickly adopting solar power as the primary way to charge their RV’s battery and power certain appliances and electronics. Which is great news!

    Solar panels are being incorporated into everyday items like backpacks and purses too so people can charge their cellphone or laptop while on the go. It’s even easier than a folding panel, pretty much no work involved.

    Sunlight is obviously an abundant energy source and I’m glad that it’s becoming more mainstream to use clean energy and adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle.

  7. joe@home wind generators
    August 22, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    Great article.. I just wish it could be easier for the average person to switch to solar energy.

    With the expenses involved, I still don’t see enough people being able to afford solar panels.

  8. abdul malik
    February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    I am student of energy and environment engineering,It is very helpful for me

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