Electricity Generation Tops The List
The most common use of solar power by far are the various home solar electric systems. These have been available for years and current versions are less expensive, more flexible and easier to install than ever before. They do a great job of turning sunlight into power that can be used in your home and help you eliminate your monthly electricity bill. The advantage that these newer home solar electric systems provide is their greater efficiency and flexibility. These newer systems can provide more power from less equipment than ever before.
They are also flexible enough to allow you to start with a smaller and very affordable system and expand that system over time to eventually generate all the power your home requires. This way you can start small with solar power for your home and grow your system over time as your budget permits.
Heat Your Water with the Sun
Another related use of solar power for homes is in heating the water you use to bathe and cook. These systems consist of a solar collector that is mounted on the roof of the home facing south. This collector is connected to the hot water supply of the home and will heat this water using the thermal component in sunlight. These solar thermal systems are simple to install and very inexpensive to operate. They can save the average home thousands of dollars a year in energy costs to heat the hot water used everyday by their household members.
Portable Systems Complement Your Home System
Another one of the solar power uses that is starting to catch on are the portable solar chargers that allow you to charge your portable devices like laptops and cell phones with sunlight. These come in a few different styles and allow you to either charge the device directly, or charge an internal battery in the charger itself for later use in powering your device. Most of these portable solar chargers have a flexible solar panel that can be unfolded or rolled out and placed in the sun. This solar panel either connects to the device it is charging, or simply charges an internal battery. Most of these portable solar power chargers have a few different connection options and usually supply a standard connector that you can use to charge your device.
Remote Monitoring Aids Data Collection
Another one of the creative solar power uses are for remote monitoring stations. These stations are usually setup in remote areas to monitor weather conditions or other environmental data. Because they are remote, there is very limited access to conventional power. Older systems required regular visits to change out their heavy battery packs to keep the system operational. Now with the advent of solar power, these systems can use a set of solar panels to charge the batteries needed to run the equipment. This eliminates the need for a monthly visit and also makes these monitoring stations much less expensive to operate.