Top 5 Residential Uses for Solar Energy

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Top 5 Residential Uses for Solar Energy

1) Solar Powered Ventilation Fans

Ventilation fans of any type are a good idea, since they help reduce cooling costs by exhausting hot air from attic spaces and other areas. Traditionally, these exhaust fans are wired into household electrical current, which somewhat defeats the energy-saving purpose. Now, however, you can buy self-contained roof vent fans that feature a small panel of photo-electric cells that operate the fan motor with no need for household electrical current at all. Small roof-mounted units are prefect for keeping a garage, shed, doghouse, or chicken coop cool in the summer. There are also free-standing solar-powered fans you can use on a patio, patio, or kids' play area.

2) Solar Water Heater

There are two types of solar systems that can be used to replace traditional water heaters powered by gas or electricity. Active solar hot water systems make use of mechanical circulating pumps that circulate water or another fluid from rooftop heat collection panels down into a storage tank. Passive hot water systems have no mechanical pump components, operating by the simple physics of heat naturally rising.

3) Charging Batteries With Solar Power

Virtually any device that operates on a battery can be charged with solar power via some type of photo-electric panel system. The nature of photo-electric solar panels is to generate DC current, which is the same form used in most batteries. Many basic and inexpensive solar panel kits have connections that allow you to plug in cell phones, pad devices, and laptops for direct charging. And by adding a simple inverter that converts DC current to 120-volt AC current, you can also plug in the chargers for other batteries.

4) Solar Energy For Cooking

At the other end of the scale, you can also use solar energy simply to cook a meal. Although it is something of a novelty exercise, cooking with solar energy is much easier than you think. With a box, pan, aluminum foil, a cooking bag, duct tape (man's best friend), styrofoam insulation, and a thermometer, you'll be cooking in no time at all.

5) Solar Energy For Outdoor Lighting

Rather than 120-volt underground circuit wiring, or even low-voltage lighting powered by a transformer plugged into a 120-volt outlet, it is perfectly possible to provide good landscape lighting with individual lighting fixtures, each of which has its own small solar cell and rechargeable storage battery.

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