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Top 10 Solar Energy Uses

Solar Power At Its Finest

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Solar energy, solar power derived from the sun through the use of solar panels, is just one of the newest initiatives the "Going Green" movement has presented to us, in an effort to build and maintain renewable and sustainable power sources. As with any new addition to your home, there is always the initial cost of the components and installation cost to get it up and running.

Solar Powered Ventilation

Solar Panels
Photo: Getty Images

How would you like the sun's power to run bath fans, floor fans, and ceiling fans in your home.  Fans are widely used throughout the home to move air around for comfort, moisture, and smell control.  Think ae heating and coling within your home and cut down on the utility bills.bout how many ceiling fans run in your home each day.  Now, think about how many bath fans run throughout the day,   How about floor fans and fans above the stove?  I think you'll agree, we all use fans to either keep us cool, circulate theair or disguard unwanted air.  With solar powered fans, you can optimiz

Heat Your Swimming Pool With Solar Energy

Swimming pools are one of the greatest joys of summer for children and parents alike.  Everyone is excited the first day the pool is opened, except when the pool is just to cold to jump into it.  To fix that problem, youcan add a solar blanket that will warm the water, much to everyone's delight.  This heating works directly through the blanket and no other installations are needed.  However, if you'd like to get a little more high tech, simply install a solar hot water heating system.  This utilizes solar hot water heating panles that are munted onyour roof to collect the sun's heat and then is circulated to the pool.  As the water is slowly pumped from the pool, heated and then returned from the panels, the pool temperature is increased.

Solar Energy Can Heat Your Water

Have you considered the possibility of solar energy heating your water instead of using gas or conventional electric water heaters? I know you may say that you'll have to buy all of these pieces to get this option to work. There will installation that you may or may not be able to do. And the cost, well maybe you should just stick to the one you have now, right?

Not so fast! If you think about it, it's no different than changing out an outdated furnace, water heater, or air conditioning unit. You may increase the efficiency by 15-30% by replacing the unit, but there is an up-front cost associated with that change as well. Although, the change will save you money over the years, so that should be considered over a period of time.

Solar Energy Can Heat Your Home

Solar heating is referred to as passive space heating and in this example, I'm going to try and explain how this works. One way is to use hot water heat in your home that can be created by using sun-heated tubes of water on your roof and pumping it into your water heater.

With the addition of a sun room, we'll refer to it as a solar room, for example, the all glass room allows the daylight hour sunshine to filter in and warm the room through a collector called a transparent covering in the glass. Now, if we add plants and rocks for a nice visual, the rocks will actually store the heat of the sun and that energy can be used when the sun goes down to heat the room. Stored energy is great and has a lot of uses, like batteries for instance.

Power Pumps With Solar Energy

In the two illustrations previous, water was used for heating water and your home. To accomplish that task, you'll need to have a pump to circulate the water around. This pump would normally connect to your home's power supply, but let me give you this nice tip. You can use solar energy to run a DC motor that will slowly circulate the water throughout your home or in and out of your water heater. This way, the cost of the system is minimized further. Now, the skeptics will say that's great, but what do we do when there is no sun?

Good question! One way is to have normal power run a pump when there is no sun. You can also have a battery backup system that can run the pump and the battery could be connected to a solar battery charger.

Solar Energy For Battery Charging

Have you considered solar energy for charging batteries? These could be used to power sump pumps, hot water pumps, ceiling fans in your home, or lighting that id of DC nature. battery chargers are used in homes to charge all of those batteries used for video games and such as well. But most likely, if you have a reserve battery bank that is charged through the day while sunlight is present and is used through the nighttime hours, you can see the benefits of that, right?

Power Your Home With Solar Energy

Yes, you heard me right, you can power your home with solar energy. The system needed isn't that complex when you examine the devices needed. Simply add solar panels to collect sunlight and convert it into electricity. DC power (direct current) is then sent to an inverter, which converts DC power into Ac power, which now runs your home. Through the use of transfer switches and other safety devices, your clean, renewable power source is capable of powering your home, camper, cabin, tool shed, or any other building for that matter.

Solar Energy For Cooking

Oh yes, we can all relate to this one. After all, we all have to eat. When you consider the energy and resources that are used to cook alone, the utility bills may surprise you. Cooking with the use of solar energy is much easier than you think. We call it thinking outside the box, or in this case, cooking within a box. Imagine cooking inside a solar oven instead of your conventional one at home. Building one of these is a recipe for successful cooking on sunny days! With a box, pan, aluminum foil, a cooking bag, duct tape (man's best friend), styrofoam insulation, and a thermometer, you'll be cooking in no time at all.

Solar Energy for Indoor Lighting

Lighting in your home is something we all use. With the invention of LEDs (light emitting diodes) lighting, your home can now have optimal lighting with minimal power consumption. These small, electronic light or set of lights can be connected through a battery-charged system that is powered by sunlight through the day and batteries through the night. When the sun is available, the battery charger charges the backup battery and runs the lighting. Then at night, the batteries kick in and supply the lighting while the sun is not visible.

Solar Energy Used For Outdoor Lighting

if you're like me, you like to come home at night to some sort of security light and walkway lighting present. Not only does it aid in a clear view of the walkway area, a clear view of keys and the entrance door, but also it serves as a deterrent to unwanted guests. As in the case of a pole light, your whole yard can be lit and best of all for free! Yes, with the use of solar lighting, the solar panel charges the batteries during the day and the batteries run the light at night. You can also have the landscape lit through landscape lighting that works the same way. Wow, after the initial cost, the lighting is free!

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