Solar energy is a renewable and inexhaustible source of energy, which offers many possible uses. The most important uses are:
1- Electricity production
This is without a doubt one of the most common uses of solar panels.
Photovoltaic solar panels allow you to take advantage of the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Then, with that, you can cover the demands of your home, hotels, businesses, etc.
Some of the applications of solar panels in this way include lighting, power supply for domestic appliances, hot water heating systems, hot water production, and outdoor lighting.
2- Swimming pool heating
This is another of the most widespread uses of solar panels.
Maintaining a heated swimming pool is costly. This cost can be considerably reduced by harnessing the sun’s energy. Moreover, this alternative is not only cheaper; it is also more environmentally friendly.
What is needed to heat pool water with solar panels? A solar collector is needed (the device through which the pool water circulates to obtain the right temperature), as well as a filter (to eliminate waste), a pump (the device that allows the water to circulate from the collector to the pool), and a flow control valve.
Solar panels for swimming pools work with both direct and diffused solar radiation, which guarantees the profitability of the investment.
Although still in development stage, efforts to harness solar energy in the area of transport are increasing.
Proof of this is that there are already electric cars and caravans, and even public transport such as buses and trains, which use solar panels for energy.
In the case of caravans and vehicles, the panels are installed on the roof and the energy obtained is stored in a battery or is fed directly to the engine.
Some manufacturers even offer solar panel kits with plug-in sockets that can be used to charge electric cars.
And although we are still waiting to see aeroplanes running on this type of energy, sailing and motor boats can have solar panels installed on their roofs.
4- Public lighting
Many municipalities have implemented solar energy systems to provide lighting for highways, urban areas, buildings, outdoor events, and even radars, traffic lights or zebra crossings.
This lighting is produced by special street lights that are devices with an LED lamp, solar panel and a rechargeable battery. Throughout the day, the street lights are charged by solar energy, and, at night they switch on automatically.
Thanks to these self-sufficient street lights, dependence on the public electricity grid is drastically reduced, which means significant savings for councils and administrations.
In addition, this type of system makes it possible to bring lighting to unpopulated, isolated areas or areas without existing electricity infrastructures.
5- Irrigation Systems
Although 70% of agricultural land has drip or sprinkler irrigation systems, solar irrigation represents a step forward in saving and optimising this natural resource.
Currently, there are three solar pump irrigation systems that are set to revolutionise the agricultural sector:
- Direct use of solar panels (called pressure systems).
- Those powered by photovoltaic energy (known as pivot systems).
- Fully automated systems which use solar panels for this purpose.
6- Textile industry
The wearable solar power revolution is imminent. In fact, there are already solar panels for mobile phones and other portable devices, such as speakers or smartwatches, which solve recharging problems and allow for greater independence.
In the case of the textile industry, the possibility of introducing tiny solar panels that are 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide is being studied. These are almost imperceptible to the human eye, integrated into the thread used to make garments, bags or backpacks. In this way, they would generate small amounts of electricity while the person is moving.
In the construction sector, one of the most interesting uses of solar panels is to power lifts in buildings. The results are overwhelming: some companies are starting to include energy accumulators in their lifts, achieving savings of 90% on their electricity bills.
Solar panels play a key role in the transition to a greener and more sustainable energy model. Are you thinking of installing photovoltaic solar panels in your home or business? Get in touch with MyGreenHouse.