Due to the introduction of technological devices like the solar panels,the use of solar power has gone global over the last few years.Unlike in the past where solar energy was used thermally that is as direct sunrays for drying,among other services,the use of photovoltaic cells in solar panels has expanded its range of uses. The US has not been left behind in the utility of solar power for self sustained homes. Self sustained homes have been created by use of solar power through a number of ways.
First is lighting;
This has been made more efficient mostly by the use of solar panels that has two layers of silicon based semiconductor wafers and surface painted black for maximum heat absorption and minimum heat loss.
It’s usually mounted on rooftops to trap heat in form of photons and by photovoltaic effect the solar energy is transformed to electric energy.It’s used in various home appliances like televisions and bulbs used for lighting. Also,the solar lamps that are currently trending use solar energy for lighting and charging multiple devices like phones among others especially in remote areas.
Second is heating water;
This asks for solar thermal installation which works under three platforms of heaters.A batch collector has solar absorber and storage tank working as a single unit.Its more efficient in countries that are warm throughout.In seasonal countries like Canada it would be coated with ice if left unprotected for long hence less effective.
An evacuated tube solar collector has several glass tubes with a black metal pipe each that transfers heat through fluid. Its used even in cold areas. Flat plate collector heater has sun heating fluids running through tubes in a box with a transparent cover which goes to the water system.It can be used in moderately cold areas.
Third is pumping water;
For various uses for instance livestock rearing, provide water for off grid homes and small scale san culture through irrigation. A solar water pumper contains a pump that maybe either surface or submersible. Surface pump works from underground sources like lakes and draws water vertically about 20 feets while submersible pump draws water from wells hundred feets above.
The controller regulates current between the solar panels and the pumps,prevents fluctuation of pumps and ensures that pumps don’t dry.A storage unit is required to store the water being pumped.This has helped increase productivity especially in growing plants like cabbage and capsicum that need controlled water.
Fourth is cooking;
Some ovens are designed with glass and reflective materials that absorbs sun’s heat like solar cells and magnifies it to make it hot to cook,grill and also heat food.
Solar power is used in pools and hot bath tubs. Lack of an inbuilt solar energy system calls for solar power kits from pool supply stores to convert the existing heater or buy solar power skimmers to clean pools and spas.
The use of solar power is here to stay. The greatest advantage with the use of solar power is that it utilizes a cheap source of energy. Once you have the required infrastructure in place, tapping solar energy is a sustainable source of energy.