Have you ever considered that solar power could supply you with a significant portion of your energy needs at home and at work. Solar power is a great source of clean power that we should all utilise more.
Watching our environment buckle under the weigh of an exploding and uncaring human population, the average well intentioned joe citizen might feel helpless and frustrated.
Yet there is a lot we can do within our sphere of influence that can contribute to a healthier environment. Using solar energy for many of your home’s energy needs is a great place to start.
New technologies that make the capture an utilisation of solar energy ever more efficient and cost effective are evolving all the time and many are now available to the man in the street.
Here are examples of some of the solar powered devices that are available and that you can (should?) use in your daily life.:)
Solar Powered outdoor lights
Solar powered outdoor lights are really super easy to install. Set them up so that the small solar panel captures the solar energy during the day, and they will provide light at night.
They can be used for practical purposes like lighting a pathway or entrance hall or
very often they can be used for decoration purposes like lighting up trees and bushes for parties, celebrations and so on.
Many outdoor solar powered lights are also designed to be portable which adds to their usefulness.
Solar powered lights
Of course many households make use of solar powered lights inside the house. These can be permanent fixtures that are connected to a photocells outside or they could run off batteries that are solar power charged. Either way, they provide abundant light when you need it.
Portable Solar Powered chargers
These little gadgets are super cool and increasingly popular. Their major advantage over normal chargers is that you don’t have to find a power point to plug into in order to start charging – so you can charge up while on the go! And apart from the purchase price – that’s pretty much it as far as energy costs go, so you can see why solar powered chargers are so popular with youngsters, backpackers, trekkers and the like.
Solar powered water heaters
Is your outdoor swimming pool a little chilly to get into? You can up the water temperature and get more use out of a pool by installing a solar powered water heater. Enjoy your pool for more months of the year with a little help from mother nature!
solar powered generators
Getting mother nature to provide you with back up energy is the next best thing to
having clean solar power all the time. Solar powered generators are silent with none of those nasty exhaust fumes associated with normal generators, so they can also be used safely indoors.
Solar powered battery chargers
Now these are neat! If you have rechargeable batteries then you can really score by simply recharging them using a solar powered battery charger. Just pop them in the charger and leave it in some sunlight and pretty soon you have recharged batteries care of mother earth.
solar powered water pumps
If you have a fountain water feature in your garden then you should have a
close look at a solar powered water pump to power the feature. Quite, efficient and environmentally friendly, these pumps will run your water feature fountain using only clean solar power.
solar powered air conditioners
When the sun turns the heat up, use that same sun to cool things down! This is
the ultimate use of clean solar power! As with other solar powered machines the
technology for these air conditioners is both improving and getting cheaper every year. As these developments occur, more and more types of solar powered air conditioners for a variety of uses have, and will, become available for everyday use.
solar powered bug zappers
Nature taking on nature! These little gadgets use clean energy to attract and then dispatch a range of bugs. T Solar powered phone charger
The above mentioned gadgets and machines are just a few examples of how solar power is being used to replace more traditional sources of energy. With an abundant supply of sunshine available in many parts of the world, it makes sense to use this form of energy for as many of our energy requirements as possible.
Not only is this form of energy safer and more sustainable than many of our current more widely used forms of energy – think petroleum, coal, nuclear – but it also has less negative impact on the environment.
While generating huge amounts of solar energy to run whole cities or industries might be a bit in the future, running whole households on this source of energy is already a reality.
There are a host of books on do-it-yourself solar power that can help any homeowner to convert all or part of their household to sun power.
Once you have converted your house, then maybe you could start work on your car like the one reported on below!
Roadtripping through Africa in a solar-powered car
Jenni Evans, News24
Johannesburg – Solar panels? Check. Ion batteries? Check. 3D printer for spares? Check. A group of university students and lecturers are on a road trip of a different kind as they travel over 4 000km to test out their solar powered car the Ilanga II fuelled on nothing by good old sunshine.
“It can do up to 140km/h,” says Nickey Janse van Rensburg, who lectures mechanical engineering at the University of Johannesburg’s Energy Movement lab.
“Because we don’t have a lot of sun today we are doing 90km/h,” she said from the convoy snaking toward the Northern Cape town of Kimberley to show off the vehicle named after the Zulu word for sun.
And every time they stop, they draw a crowd of people keen to see what can be done by a group of bright sparks looking for clean green alternatives.
Resembling a cross between a space pod and a yacht, the aerodynamic lines of the orange and white Ilanga II draws delighted crowds wherever she pulls up. And that is exactly what the university wants – for people in the towns and rural villages along the route to see how green technology can be used in every day life.
Says Janse van Rensburg, the Ilanga II could even be plugged into a wall like a cellphone, if needed, to charge.
The Solar Car Project promotes the study and development of efficient energy use, environmental awareness, energy management and innovative engineering.
On Thursday the residents of Klerksdorp who arrived with their children at the team’s leg-stretching and system-tweaking stop at the Mitsubishi garage were intrigued by what they saw. Her “engine” is 300 lithium ion batteries which work almost like cellphone batteries, and almost 1 000 business card-sized thin solar panels.
Along the route, even mayors have come out to welcome the team which is happy to explain how everything works and tell people about other ways of using “green” technology in their every day life.
And of course, everyone wants to see some laps and they are not disappointed. And then it’s go time again.
Read the rest of the article here