December 21, 2014

What can you power with solar?

Solar panel systems are powering literally everything you can imagine and probably several more systems than you were aware even existed. Solar powered lighting systems are now being used for illuminate Parking lots, Streets, pathways, secured storage areas, traffic control lights and business roadside signs. Providing both functionality as well as decorative accent lighting we can now use solar lighting with motion sensors so these light sources turn themselves on when visitors or intruders movements activate them. Pathways and stairways that use to be dark in the evenings can now be well marked with solar lighting systems in a wide array of colors and we can now utilize bright solar spot lights for further lighting accents all of which are powered 100% by the sun’s energy.

Many communications companies are utilizing solar powered systems with battery backup systems to power communication towers in remote locations. These same solar powered systems that are coupled with battery backup systems enabling landowners to power their remote locations that are off-grid and DOT highway departments use them for traffic control signs. Hospitals and clinics also use them for medical refrigeration systems, security alarm systems and emergency power backup systems. They can also be used for water well pumps in remote locations where power is not a consideration for grid supplied, homes and businesses. Ranches and nearly every conceivable agricultural environment. In fact the uses for these systems are only limited by ones own imagination and resourcefulness.

Some companies have even started using solar powered air conditioning systems that offer a 80% – 90% energy reduction when powered conventionally and 100% reductions when solar panel systems are used in supplying their needed power. Furthermore these systems do not use any chemical refrigerants and aside from the 4 gallons of water per hour they typically use are highly efficient offering an incredible amount of temperature control to homes and businesses. Many cities across the country are utilizing solar powered trash bins which compact the trash on scheduled time periods making better use of the capacity of these trash bins and minimizing the frequency with which they need to be emptied again saving tens of thousands of dollars per year in hourly personnel’s wage costs. Solar thermal hot water systems have been used since the 1970′s primarily for heating swimming pools but today this technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Home and business owners can now save upwards of 47% on their energy usage for their hot water heating system costs regardless whether they are in a mild climate or one receiving cold winters such as those in the northern tiered US states. For anyone who is currently using either gas or electric powered hot water heating systems these solar thermal systems offer very appealing operational cost savings and because of their affordable pricing they do so with a very short ROI time period of only 6 – 7 years in some cases. Also, when these systems are coupled with Geo-thermal hot water systems they can be used for actually heating homes and businesses through the use of radiant heating circuits built into these build structures.

Solar is also being used in recharging systems for everything from your laptop to your iPod and these systems come in a wide variety of packages from hand held devices to backpacks with solar modules built right into their fabrics. It is a fact that solar manufacturers are developing newer systems and devices that we use everyday and in so doing are allowing all of us to greatly reduce our dependence on traditional carbon fuel generated electricity. As is true with all manufacturing these newly developed systems and devices will come with a higher cost to cover their R&D expenses but with the costs for solar modules already declining it is no different than purchasing that new LCD television set when it first hit the stores shelves with the one exception being that these systems are going to actually save you money in the long run and should be seriously considered for your purchase and use.

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