Green energy solutions include everything from turning off lights you aren’t using to sophisticated solar installations. In between, there are a variety of devices, technologies and other options you can employ to reduce your carbon footprint.
When people think of green energy solutions, solar panels usually come to mind. These are groups of photovoltaic cells that can be powered up by the sun’s radiation, which can then be converted into electricity. Most people already use calculators powered by these cells. A bank of solar panels on the roof in some cases is enough to power the average sized home.
Solar power is a direct current (DC) source, which means you will need an inverter to convert this energy into the AC power needed in the household. It is also recommended to have some type of battery storage system in place so that you will have power during the night and on cloudy days.
Some solar panels are filled with water. This water can be used in the home for baths, laundry and cleaning, or it can be converted into electricity. These systems are currently very bulky, expensive and difficult to install, making them not too popular. Most of these systems have a conventional hot water heater as a backup for days when there isn’t enough sunlight to heat the water.
This is a panel like system that transfers or reflects heat from the sun into the home. The system can be equipped with a thermostat to make it easier to use. Some systems also work the other way around and extract hot air from the house, keeping it cooler in the summer.
Most portable gadgets run on battery power, and now those batteries can be recharged with solar power. Solar powered battery chargers come in all sizes and work the same as regular chargers. You just plug in the device, or put the batteries into the charger, and set it in direct sunlight for a few hours.
The cheapest and easiest green energy solution is solar lights. They come in a huge variety of styles, shapes and sizes. You can use them indoors or outdoors. Indoor versions are slightly different than the outdoor type. Outdoor solar lights usually have a small solar panel on top that gathers sunlight during the day and bulbs underneath that shine all night. With indoor lights, this setup doesn’t work very well because of the design of the lights. Indoor solar lights are attached to the solar panel with a small electrical cord. Simply put the panel in a sunny window and put the light wherever you like.
Forget the air conditioner. Cool your home with solar powered fans, instead. These work the same way as indoor solar lights. Just place the solar panel in a sunny window. Current versions of solar powered fans are not quite as powerful as their electric counterparts, but better, more efficient models should be available soon.
There are many ways of using the sun’s power without any tools or devices. It’s just a matter of changing your habits, and maybe making a few adjustments to your home.
Putting green energy solutions to work saves you money and saves the planet for future generations. Making these changes isn’t difficult, but it may take a little getting used to. The more you practice a green way of life, the easier it will become.