I was watching my Son run around as he was pretending he was a superhero he was watching on TV. I turned as my Daughter opened the fridge to get a snack after for quick break from distance learning school, and I heard my Wife laugh as she was in the middle of her Zoom conference call. It hit me that our life, our home, is run and powered by solar energy.
We just had solar panels installed a few months before and in the middle of this pandemic as we are using more energy at home, we have been producing our own clean energy.
The earth receives more energy from the sun in one hour than the power requirement of the world for the whole year. Solar energy is free, renewable, clean and sustainable. We know how to harness it and we know where to use it best. Below are the different uses of solar energy.
Grid-Tied Residential Homes
Solar energy can be used hand in hand with your current electricity provider. This is ideal to those who live in places where sunlight does not shine year round, to those who live in areas where electricity is cheap and to those who just want to use solar energy as a backup to their existing source of power. The idea is that if you have 2 sources of power, you can get uninterrupted power supply all the time.
One of the benefits of having a grid-tied solar energy system at home is that you can turn your electric meter backwards. This happens when you produce more energy than you use. The excess power that your system generates is sent out to the grid, which will be used by other households. As a result, your electric meter turns backwards and your electric provider will pay you for the amount of energy your system has produced.
Homeowners can use solar energy in producing electricity to power security lights around the house’s perimeter. Since these types of lights consume as much as 5 times more power than the household’s daily energy requirement, opting for solar energy system is very reasonable.
Solar power system may not be used to answer the entire power requirement of the household. Sometimes it is used to power particular equipment such as lighting, water pumping, cooking and water heating or other equipments that consume the most amount of energy.
To save on electric bills, many companies and building owners install PV cells on their atria. On large industrial buildings, PV cells can be installed on rooftops. While the initial cash out is expensive, the amount of savings the system produces over the years will pay for itself.
If you have a cabin house or a farm house located far from the power grids, a solar power system can be your best source of electricity. Also, it is ideal if you need to power stand-alone sensing equipment and remote telemetry. Holiday homes that receive a substantial amount of sunlight can also benefit on this system.
Community halls, schools, clinics and other buildings that are not connected to any grid lines can use PV cells to generate power from the sun.
Signs and Street lights
Lights to brighten our street and street signs consume large amount of energy. This energy is drawn from electric providers that use conventional fossil fuels. To reduce the demand for this type of energy source, signs and street light can be installed with solar power systems that store power during the day and use it to light the streets at night. Many cities have solar panels attached to their street lights to save money and reduce fossil fuel burning.
Other Recreational Application
RVs and marine vehicles require small amount of power which are drawn from its engine. This consumes fuel and emits greenhouse gases. To reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases emission, owners prefer charging their batteries with solar panels.
As energy demands increase and solar energy is becoming more popular, we hope to also help improve this planet we call home with clean, renewable energy.