By Scott Laskey
Could you simplify your daily routine by putting the sun to work? You might be surprised at just how many practical uses of solar energy there truly are. From the residential solar panel installations that you’ve seen around town to agricultural production systems, renewable energy has the potential to change your life in more ways than one.
Solar energy uses in everyday life go back even further than retro gadgets like the first classic solar-powered calculators of the 1970s. Historically, different cultures around the world depended on various devices known as solar collectors to simplify daily life. Whether they were heating water during the day to warm their homes at night, designing entire cities to take advantage of passive solar heating and illumination, or starting fires with magnifying lenses and mirrors, ancient peoples made full use of the sun’s energy.
Today, modern societies still rely on collectors and concentrating solar power technology to boil water with the sun. The hot, pressurized steam emitted by such processes can easily turn turbine generator blades to create high-voltage electricity in large-scale power facilities.
Some off-grid enthusiasts use functionally similar, smaller solar systems for their homes. These devices can warm household water supplies with high efficiency. Thermal collectors also perform important work in agricultural settings, where they dry crops, heat water for radiant building warmth and let farmers grow food in greenhouses year-round.
Modern solar energy uses and applications commonly involve people converting solar energy to electricity using semiconductor technologies. For instance, many residential solar installations rely on roof-mounted PV cells.
You may have also noticed similar uses of solar energy in commercial settings. With solar panels, local companies can reduce their operating costs and contribute to cleaner communities. Even global tech giants, like Apple and Amazon, are on board with using renewable solar to run their data centers.
Retro calculators aren’t the only examples of how small solar modules integrated with devices make it convenient to use solar energy in everyday life. The next time you rough it in the wilderness, why not reduce your footprint even more with a set of portable solar panels designed for camping trips? Even if you don’t power your entire RV, you can at least keep your phone and other personal devices topped off.
Some of the most impressive solar energy uses and applications serve multiple functions. Solar canopies in locales like Santa Cruz provide power as well as shade. In addition to powering local facilities, these multipurpose installations might provide enhanced ecological benefits by reducing the need for energy-hungry climate-control systems.
As a reliable source of renewable energy, solar power fulfills important purposes in numerous municipalities. Community solar energy initiatives let residents of a given area share power from solar panel projects nearby. These measures are exciting ways to put space that would ordinarily go unused to work for greater purposes.
The countless applications and uses of solar energy are redefining people’s relationships with power consumption, environmental stewardship and their communities. Whether you’re installing solar panels for your home or business, you’re making positive contributions to a growing Californian culture of responsible energy use.
The uses of solar energy are sure to expand even more with time. If you’re considering a solar system for your home, it pays to invest in options that won’t fall behind the march of progress.
With more than 13 years of experience providing commercial and residential solutions, Sandbar Solar has emerged as the Central Coast’s leader in functional solar technology. Thanks to our reputation for service excellence, locals depend on us to make freely available energy more useful with efficient, expertly installed Monterey, Bay Area, Santa Cruz and San Jose solar installations. Chat with one of our specialists today to learn how solar power will transform your everyday life.
Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar & Electric. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.
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