Solar energy is one of the largest growing industries, counting the building of solar energy plants, purchase of solar panels for use in homes, and smaller solar devices that are used to charge devices. Adopting the use of solar energy can be done on a small scale, such as using it to help heat your home, or on a larger scale, by switching your power solely to solar energy. There are many uses for solar energy so you can start with just one or go for them all.
13 Uses for Solar Energy
- Solar energy can be used to power fans throughout your home; you’ll save on cooling costs because you won’t need to run the air conditioner as much, and the solar energy is totally free.
- Keep your pool warm. So that your pool will be ready on the first warm day, use a solar blanket to cover the water, and leave the cover on when the pool is not in use so the water stays warm.
- Heat your pool water. Install solar panels on your roof to heat the water for your pool. A pump can be used to circulate the warmed water into your pool.
- Heat your hot water. Get rid of your inefficient electric or gas water heater, and replace it with a solar heating system. A generator or battery is used to store energy so that you’ll still have hot water even when the sun is not out.
- Heat a sun room. With two or three all-glass walls and solar panels on one room, you eliminate the need for any external heat. The addition of plants and ornamental rocks or stones will help by storing the warmth of the sun.
- Hot water heating for your house. Using solar energy that works through water baseboard heating, you can provide heat for your home. The water is warmed using solar tubes and then circulated through the baseboards using a solar-powered pump with a battery backup.
- Heat pump. Rather than using oil or gas for heat, you can use solar power to provide energy for a heat pump that will circulate warm air throughout your home.
- Power your home. Using solar panels and a system for converting the sun’s energy into electricity, you can provide power for your home. You can use a battery or generator backup.
- Cooking. With a few supplies and some ingenuity, you can design a solar-powered oven and stove top that you can use to cook with on sunny days.
- Charging batteries. A solar energy device can be used to charge DC batteries, and those batteries can be used to power any number of appliances in your home.
- Charge cell phones. Sunlight is converted into energy and stored in a battery in devices designed to charge cell phones; charging takes a while, but you can charge your phone for free every day because you are not using electricity supplied by a power grid.
- Charge laptops and tablets. Similar to the cell phone chargers but larger, charging stations use solar power to generate electricity and recharge the batteries on your laptop, tablet, etc.
- Security lighting. Solar-powered lights can be set up around the perimeters of your home or your yard to provide light at night and keep areas of your home more secure.
The Bottom Line
Solar energy and wind already has many uses, and more are being created each year. While many locales do not yet offer solar power, the power grid in some communities is often supplemented by solar energy, and you have the option of installing your own solar source to suit a number of purposes. Whether used to provide lighting outside your home at night or to heat your hot water, solar energy is clean and efficient, and it reduces your utility costs.