When you think of solar energy, what comes to your mind might be an array of solar panels installed in your roofs. These solar panels then catch the sun’s light and turn it into electricity that you can use in your homes.
While this is the standard and most productive set-up of how solar energy can be used in residential homes, there are still several practical and straightforward ways of solar energy usage. With technology, people can now use solar energy without going large scale and installing multiple solar panels. There are now many stand-alone solar-powered devices that households can use and enjoy.
Below are some of them.
As the winter season is now being experienced in Australia, having a water heater is vital. With solar power, households can now enjoy hot water without using traditional water heaters that run on gas and electricity.
A solar water heater can be of two kinds, depending on the solar system that it uses. An active solar hot water-system has a mechanical circulating pump that works to move the water from the rooftop heat collection panels down into the storage container or tank. The other kind, the passive solar hot water system, uses the sun’s heat to make the water warmer, and it has no mechanical pump.
It is also possible to heat an entire home using two solar systems, the hot air, and the hot water solar systems.
The hot air solar system uses the air heated by the sun through the roof or an exposed wall. It then circulates it throughout the room, providing warmth for the entire house. To be able to use a hot air solar system, homes should have roofs such as clay roof tiles with built-in air channels for circulation and walls that could absorb heat. A circulating powered fan can also be used to distribute the warm air.
Like the solar system that heats water, the hot water solar system also makes use of water to heat an entire home but on a bigger scale. Instead of storing the heated water in a tank, the hot water runs through a pipe heating up radiators and floor tubings providing a warmer temperature inside the house.
There are now ventilation fans that run on solar power instead of using electric current. These roof-vent fans come with a small panel that has photo-electric cells in it. These are ideal to use in small spaces like the garage, shed, and doghouse. For the patio, kid’s play area, there are free-standing solar-powered fans available.
Outside your homes, you can still maximise the use of solar energy through the outdoor lights. With its solar cell, LED technology, and improved battery, lighting your grounds, landscape, and the backyard is now possible without using wiring connections of electricity. Each individual fixture has its solar cell and rechargeable battery.
If you want to warm the water in your pools, solar blankets can work for you. Solar blankets are floating devices that absorb the sun’s heat and transmit it into the water.
Solar power can also be used to charge batteries of devices such as cellphones and laptops. There are available solar panel kits that have connections that allow the direct charging of these devices. For other batteries, you can also use an inverter to convert direct current to alternating current.
Yes, you can also use solar power in cooking. What you may be thinking is a high-technology device, but solar cookers are made up of simple materials. You will need a box, aluminium foil, cooking bag, pan, duct tape, styrofoam insulation, and thermometer. The idea behind is to focus the sun’s rays into the cooking chamber through the foil or other shiny substance.
To reap the benefits of solar power, install solar panels in your home today. Solar Shop Online, Australia’s largest online shop, can provide the right solar panels for your home. Visit our website today to see the full range of solar panel products we offer or call us at 1300 620 290 for assistance.