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  • Writer's pictureBrian Harbin

7 Examples of How Solar Power Can be Used

Solar power can be used in a variety of different ways. Heat and light are the two main types of energy produced by the sun that humanity can harness for a number of different activities such as photosynthesis in plants to the heating of food and water via the creation of electricity with the use of photovoltaic cells.

There are seven major examples of solar power uses in our everyday lives.

1. Electricity

This solar energy application has become increasingly popular over the course of the last few years, with the cost of solar panels falling and a greater awareness of the environmental and financial benefits of solar power.

A distributed solar PV system is normally installed on the roof of a business or home, generating electricity that offsets the usage of the property owner, with any excess production usually sent to the grid. Solar batteries can also be used to connect to a solar power system so that solar can continue to be used after dark or during emergencies.

Utility scale solar PV farms can even generate electricity sufficient to power an entire city.

Solar electricity continues to grow in accessibility and popularity.

2. Heating

The usual uses for solar space heating systems include the likes of pairing with a Forced Hot Air system or powering radiant floors in order to heat a property. Businesses and homes can also be heated during winter when passive solar home design takes into consideration window placement and material selection during construction.

3. Lighting

Solar lights have started to become commonplace in everything from home landscaping, road signs, security lights and street lights. This is an inexpensive solar lighting technology that can be easily obtained online or from local hardware stores.

4. Portable

Phones and tablets are always around in our increasingly connected world, but their batteries often run low. A portable PV solar charger can be used to charge personal electronic devices while we are on the move. The tech already exists for solar cells to be integrated into phones and watches have been using them for nearly fifty years now.

5. Transportation

Solar-powered vehicles could be the way of the future, and applications that already exist include airplanes, buses, race cars and trains. While this solar energy is not yet widely available except to those with EVs they are expected to become ubiquitous in years to come.

6. Water heating

Solar power can also be used with water heating systems. The majority of solar water heating solutions are for home hot water, with a rooftop cell used by solar water heaters to absorb the heat of the sun and have it transferred to the water tank.

Heating swimming pools is another application of solar power.

7. Ventilation

Solar ventilation solutions including solar attic fans can reduce energy bills by ensuring homes stay cool in summertime. This can be a particularly useful option for those who are unable to have a solar PV system installed to offset the whole electricity use of their home.

Solar power is already a familiar concept to many and new applications for this technology are being discovered all the time.

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