zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Uses of Solar Energy in Daily Life

by
author image Brenda Barron
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.
Uses of Solar Energy in Daily Life
A field of solar panels. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Overview

When people think of solar energy, they envision solar-powered electricity and the large solar panels mounted on roofs. This definitely is one option to consider for using solar energy in your daily life. However, solar energy has expanded so much that you now have many more options for use on a day-to-day basis.

Generate Electricity for Your Home

The most obvious use of solar energy is to generate electricity for your home. You can choose a full solar electrical system and completely remove yourself from the grid (local power company), or you can choose a partial system using the grid as a back-up or nighttime power. In a back-up system, the grid provides power only if there is no sunshine and the batteries that store electricity for such times are dead. Nighttime power uses power from the grid when the sun goes down.

Generate Heat for Hot Water

Solar systems can heat the water in your home to fill your hot-water tank. These tanks must be well-insulated to maintain the hot water temperature once the sun goes down. These systems also typically require a hot-water tank to have a back-up heating system, but the U.S. Department of Energy estimates your cost savings of water-heating bills to be 50 percent to 80 percent. Some fairly inexpensive systems also heat the water in swimming pools.

Public Uses

More cities are turning to solar-powered road signs to let you know how fast you’re going or to convey messages of accidents ahead. Companies are using solar power to provide electronic advertisement screens. Everywhere you turn, little solar panels are popping up to power all kinds of electronic displays.

Miscellaneous Uses

Almost every electronic device that contains GPS or receives information via satellite, such as pagers and cellphones, use some of the oldest solar technology around. Satellites that link us to most mass forms of media directly or indirectly use the sun’s rays to power them. Space.com reports that research seeks to determine the feasibility of creating satellite solar “dams” to provide electricity on Earth.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.