Once you have a way to convert the sun’s energy into electricity through the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels or heat by using a solar thermal system, there are many uses of solar energy that can be implemented.
If you are considering placing solar panels on your roof but are concerned about the aesthetics solar shingles might provide an interesting alternative to traditional solar panels.
As the cost of cooling your house in the Summer has continued to rise, many companies have begun to offer solar air conditioning systems. These systems usually do not completely eliminate the electrical costs but can substantially reduce the amount of energy required from the grid.
A more passive approach to using solar energy to control the amount of heat entering your house is to use solar shades. Solar shades can reduce your cooling costs by not allowing as much heat from the sun to enter your house and protect your furniture from the damaging UV light.
Another passive approach to using solar power is to install solar tubes. Solar tubes amplify natural light and channel that light to interior rooms through the use of mirrors or other highly reflective material. Solar tubes provide a great alternative to traditional skylights or artificial lighting.
For the homeowner’s landscaping projects, solar landscape lighting and solar water pumps or solar fountain pumps may be an alternative worth considering. They provide for much easier installation and lower maintenance than traditional landscape lights or fountain pumps.
If you have a pool, solar pool covers provide a great way to passively capture the sun’s heat and extend your pool season. You may also want to consider a solar heating system to reduce the costs associated with traditional pool heaters.
For the outdoor enthusiast portable solar panels can provide a great way to keep all of today’s electronic gadgets charged. Solar ovens can provide the outdoor enthusiast with an intersting alternative to cooking your food while camping and solar stills can provide you with potable water in an emergency situation.