Imagine a world without electricity, maybe we could su
rvive in such a world. But a world without sun could barely last a single minute. The sun is the single most powerful and free energy provider to earth that makes life possible on earth. It is the master source of energy to our planet. Tapping the potential of solar energy is not a new thing; it has been a part of our daily life since time unknown. But most of us are unaware of the benefits of solar energy which has a huge potential of suntuf roofing to change the way the world installation works. While the whole world is fast forwarding to a situation and prices where all our major fossil fuel energies will be depleted, solar energy promises to be a lifesaver.
Solar energy is a renewable and free form of energy which has the sun as its source. So it is going to be around for quite a long time. Before the invention of electricity, solar energy was used for, drying up wet clothes, food and other daily activities. Modern science has developed better ways to capture solar energy in the form of solar cells to effectively convert solar energy into forms that can be conveniently used to power up our machines and gadgets.
Here are some ways how solar energy is used in our daily life.
Water heaters and thermal systems
This is the most popular usage everyone is reminded of when they think of solar power. Solar systems can heat up water for you at a low cost and except for some cloudy days, you can have a free hot water service every day. New innovations in solar water heaters also allow you to charge up some electric power so that you can still get hot water even when during the nights and days when the sun is not so bright.
An efficient water heating system can also be used to regulate your house temperature. Other types of thermal systems also make use of sun’s heat energy and are widely used for both housing and industry purposes.
While solar powered vehicles have a long way to go before they can be used in the mainstream transport, the recent advancements made in this area shows that solar powered vehicles could be seen on the roads very soon. This could greatly reduce the pressure on fossil fuels and put an end to the ever increasing fuel prices.
Technically called as the photo voltaic systems, solar electric systems use solar panels and grid systems to help you cut down your electricity bills. Unlike water heaters that use the sun’s heat for deriving energy, these systems make use of sunlight to create electricity that can power up our electronic and electrical appliances.
Solar systems can be off grid, grid-tied or hybrid. A grid tied system is connected to a public utility grid and is generally less expensive compared to the off grid systems. Off-grid solar systems can act stand alone and are usually provided with battery storage. Hybrid systems may use another power source such as a wind generator or a fuel generator in combination to a solar electric system.
Street lights and outdoor lights fitted with solar cells are increasingly becoming popular with their ability to produce light at a very much lesser operating costs compared to conventional electric lamps. Though the initial installation costs could be higher, these lights have proven to be a preferable alternative.
Many houses are starting to install solar power generators as a backup source of power. Shortage of electricity and the rise in power costs has also pushed people into installing solar power generators. Your entire house could make use of the electricity produced from solar energy. Business and industries are also using solar energy to produce electricity.
Some of the common applications of an off grid system are:
- Household, school and hospitals use it as power sources.
- Cooling for medical use
- Power supply for telecommunication equipment
Most of the telecommunication systems work with the help of solar energy. Almost all the satellites make use of solar energy and hence without even realizing we are making use of it every time we make a call.
- Water pumps in remote areas, portable water supply systems.
- Street infrastructure equipment like street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, etc. Solar powered automobiles and recreational vehicles.
- Remote meteorological stations
- Powering vending machines, emergency phone systems, speed cameras and other public utilities
- As a power source in offshore navigation buoys and lighthouses
- Powering, monitoring equipment installed in remote areas.
- Electronic advertisements and displays.
Many modern gadgets have been remodelled to include solar energy as a power source. These innovative designs are getting more popular. Starting from solar calculators to solar powered GPS systems, the list can be very long. Portable solar power banks are also helping people charged up their electronic gadgets without the need for electricity.
Any place that is remote to the modern amenities and is cut from the main power line can make use of solar energy to satisfy its power resources. The research stations in Antarctica use solar energy constantly during the 6 months of sunlight. Countries are increasingly becoming aware of the depletion of fossil fuels and are looking into alternative ways of renewable energy that is also environmentally safe. The best option available is solar energy and hence many researches and funds are directed towards making use of it in the best possible way. Many initiatives are taken by the governments to promote solar energy by making use of solar powered road signs and public utility systems.
Converting solar energy to electric energy has been a hot research topic for many decades. The efficiency of solar cells has been increased from 1% to 30% and the cost is also continuously going down due to the continuous efforts by various scientists in this area. The efficiency and portability of solar systems is considered to undergo even more improvements in the future and we would soon see a world where solar powered gadgets would be ubiquitous.