We have been collecting the sun, wind, and water to carry out our daily lives since the beginning of humanity.
It’s remarkable what we’ve learned, and what we can apply our learnings to today.
My personal preference for renewable energy is hydroelectricity and water recycling.
Collecting rainwater, using streams to create hydroelectricity, and even though this article is about solar energy, all forms of renewable energy need a spotlight to portray themselves.
I love it all though anything set out to save this beautiful planet has to be a ten in my book.
Solar connection started slowly in 1839 with Edmund Becquerel observing photovoltaic liquid producing voltage when exposed to sunlight; he was only 19 years old at this time.
Charles Fritts at a crazy 44 years later built the first photovoltaic solar cell with a design based on selenium wafers in 1883.
Peculiar enough, Albert Einstein also played a part in solar development with his paper on the photoelectric effect in 1905, winning him the Nobel Prize in 1921.
In 1954 bell labs credited three scientists who made the first solar cells that could convert sunlight into electrical energy brought efficiency from 4% to 11%; now, though we have reached outstanding heights, solar-power may very well be the energy of tomorrow.
In 2001 Australia introduced a renewable energy target, putting solar panels atop many houses with feed-in tariffs as high as 60c/kWh.
Now that you are caught up on your history, I’m confident you will love these ten ways to collect solar energy for your home, car, boat, and everywhere else you can think.
1. Outdoor Solar Lights
Have to be the easiest of any solar devices to add to your home they sell them everywhere from Dollar General, to The Home Depot you don’t need a loan or any lavish measure all you need is a few dollars and a dream of clean energy.
Solar lights are marvellous; you can add gorgeous lighting to your house, or maybe you want to light up the whole yard with a solar-powered spotlight, the possibilities are un-shrouded.
I love my solar lights around my flower beds, and along my walkway, it adds a lot of life to my yard, not to mention there are a lot of snakes in South Carolina where I am, and the last thing I want is for one of my children to get bitten by one.
2. Solar panel chargers
Have only gotten bigger and better, and you can take them literally anywhere there is sunlight, they can charge your phone, tablet, computer, you can even watch TV with some of them.
Solar panel charges are small enough to fit into your bag, and come out whenever convenient, camping is probably the best use for solar panel chargers, definitely get you one if you plan to hike or camp for longer than a day.
These things have been around for a while, they started small and cheap, but now, they’re relatively sophisticated some are even waterproof, and shockproof so Clip it to your belt, or backpack, or set it on the dash of the car, endless possibilities right? I know.
You can also check out our list of solar panel chargers.
3. Solar Powered Air Conditioner
If you ever thought of going off the grid, you may have said, “This is impossible.” and well, it’s quite tricky, but now solar-powered appliances have made off the grid living a foreseeable future for many earth lovers.
Now imagine a hurricane knocks out everyone’s power in the city, I can see it now finicky, panicking, oh no, “what are you going to do?”, Well go out to that kitchen of yours and pour a glass of wine.
All of your appliances run off the sun, marvelous right? That’s just one example, summers(¾ of the year) in Florida are brutal; it’s consistently hot and humid but a solar-powered air conditioner!
Now that’s a heatstroke of genius proportions.
If you’re not set up but ready for the change:
4. Solar Pool Heater
If you live in the mountains away from bodies of water, then chances are you probably own a pool, and if so then a solar pool heating system may be right up your ally.
Solar pool systems are a bit pricier, but if the water temperature is an issue, then this is the way to go you could have a warm pool for a fall morning swimming while the leaves are falling and changing colors all around you.
Get up early in the morning, late at night, summer, fall, spring, winter who cares you’re a year-round swimmer now, maybe not but you have the option now and what a gloriously freeing option it is.
Check out more here: https://magesolar.com/best-solar-pool-heater/.
5. Solar Compactors
If you are trying to cut back on filling up landfills, it can be pretty exhausting trying to reduce our trash consumption and almost impossible if we try to take it out completely, however solar-powered trash, and recycling compactors may do a lot of good for all of us.
We live in a world littered with garbage from our streets and yards to our parks, beaches, and oceans.
It’s devastating to see, and these things won’t be able to pick up the trash for us, but they may just make it easier to control it reduce it and eventually we may have a clean planet again, just remember everyone and anyone can make a change in the world as long as we start with ourselves.
Most solar compactors are more for the general public and not for the home which, honestly is incredible and these things should be everywhere, especially at beaches lakes and parks.
The beauty of it all is that we truly can change this world for the better; we have to be willing.
If you know a public area requiring these, let everyone know:
6. Medical Equipment
Medical equipment seems so advanced to the average person, but what if? “What if all the electricity just stopped?” “What would we do?” Well, a company called Clinic-in-a-can is dealing with this issue.
Six solar panels, eight lead-acid batteries, running 24/7 completely solar-powered, that’s pretty awesome, especially considering there are always terrible storms going on around the world.
We need way more of these in all countries across the globe these clinics are very impressive, and I am ready to see one in real life.
The downside, this clinic needs to switch to lithium-ion batteries to maximize battery life and storage capacity, lead-acid batteries can be permanently damaged if they go below 50% so the clinic can only run for 18 hours without sunlight.
It truly is a beautiful thing when science and humanity come together to do transcendent things.
Do you want to know more?
7. Van Solar Collection
What if you don’t live in a home, what if you live in an RV or any other vehicle?
It’s a hassle adding better batteries and extra alternators, and it’s not ideal running two or three alternators so that you can live in luxury on the road.
When I lived in my car, there weren’t any fancy solar-powered gadgets that I could buy but now you will surprise yourself with how easy it can be to live on the road traveling working not having to worry about running the battery dead trying to work or read or even cook when your vehicle isn’t running.
These products could save you hundreds a year by reducing the strain on the alternator and battery, and the only downside is the cost to acquire and weight added may increase fuel consumption, one way to counter this is to take away unneeded weight by removing things you don’t need or swapping them for lighter options.
You could also go in for a bio-fueled vehicle making every trip a clean trip.
For the best van products:
8. Solar Clothing
Could you imagine charging your phone or laptop with your clothing?
The weirdest question ever I know but trust me to put what you think to the side and understand solar-powered fashion is coming fast and it will be here way sooner than later.
Just about every piece of clothing and accessories can come equipped with sun harnessing solar cells, even bathing suits and sunglasses, it’s phenomenal, to imagine the applications of this stuff.
Most people are probably not ready to see solar panels as shirts or accessories, and a quick search will tell you that it just is not like that Pauline Van Dongen’s Solar Couture is to die for I love it.
The watches are unknowingly solar-powered, the sunglasses look like high tech fashion gadgets, these clothes are elegant, stylish, seems pretty comfortable, and you can harness the sun with them, so it’s safe to say it’s a win-win for everybody.
If you need more excitement about solar clothing:
9. Passive Solar Heating
Do you find yourself cranking up the AC during the day and then the furnace at night ending with a ridiculous power bill at the end of the month? It may be time to look into passive solar energy (if you don’t mind renovating or building).
You don’t need solar cells or batteries or wires just a good understanding of design, positioning, and style, and most importantly are you using it for cooling, heating, or a combination of both.
The houses people come up with using passive solar energy are amazing beautiful homes miraculous architecture; some of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen are passive solar homes.
To figure out what you need and need to do check it out here:
10. Electric Fence
What if you could run your house with your house or even your fence? Crazy right? Look, I know, but several companies are developing solar collecting paint!
That’s right, a paint that can use the sun to make electricity; brings a new meaning to an electric fence.
This paint doesn’t technically harness the sun like conventional photovoltaic cells; however, it takes the moisture out of the air and separates the water into hydrogen and oxygen, then the hydrogen is used as fuel to generate power.
This idea gets me more excited than a houseplant giveaway.
I can’t wait till this paint is readily available, and it’s time to repaint.
Go check out the buzz: .
Solar energy is limitless there are so many different ways to apply solar energy to almost everything we do, and every single year it gets easier, cheaper, better, it’s a no brainer. Right?
Now the unique materials themselves inside of solar panels do cause some impact on our environment, the placement of solar panels and water used to clean them can also create some effect; however, the science community is continuously working to fix these problems to make solar energy truly eco-safe.
Economies using solar energy are continually pushing the prices of solar panels further and further down, making it more affordable every year, do you need another reason to make a change.
If you plan to go with conventional solar panels I would strongly suggest doing research, the average cost of installation is around $17,000; however, some states have discounts that could bring that price down to about $5,000 instead.
Conventional solar panels typically take anywhere from 7 to 20 years to pay off, so definitely have a plan you don’t want to end up in a tight spot.
The more prepared we are to take this issue head-on, the better off we, our kids and everybody after us will be, and the only advice that I can offer is to walk, run, hike, use public transportation some of it all of it you’ve got this.
This entire planet would be in a state of panic right now if we ran out of crude oil, gas and oil prices would skyrocket until we ran out, thousands of jobs would vanish, it would be chaos.
Every year we get closer and closer to depleting this planet of its resources it’s earth-shatteringly heartbreaking, we need to step up and push forward with renewable clean energy.
Renewable energy will have to replace fossil fuels one day; it’s not a matter of if but when.