From the ordinary to the extraordinary, solar panels have potentially unlimited applications. In this article, we are going to look at the top 10 uses for solar panels in the modern world and beyond. Solar panels take raw sunlight, turn that into raw electrical power, which is then turned into electricity that we can use, using inverters.
One of the most common applications of solar panels is to have them on the roofs of houses or offices. People are installing solar panels on buildings more each year, taking advantage of the lower energy bills, lower environmental impact, and ability to raise property value and desirability. If you need solar panels installing, servicing, repairing, maintaining, pest-proofing or more, we think Direct Solar Care is best. They offer the best price promise along with a huge list of exclusive benefits, such as vouchers for referring friends.
The solar panels used in most calculators may be the first solar panels many of us learned about. These useful mini solar panels put out a low energy supply from even a dim light bulb, which is why they are perfect for powering little devices that use little electricity.
Many wristwatches are now powered by solar power, either exclusively or as part of a hybrid system that also utilizes a battery or other power, such as kinetic energy gained as we walk around. Digital watches are becoming more popular as the world becomes increasingly digital, and analog systems fall out of use with the younger generations. However, with the rise of smartwatches, that cannot run on the small solar panels we can fit on our wrists, solar power is again declining in use for watches.
Some cars are emerging that have solar panels on the roof. Coupled with electric car technology, we are seeing sustainable vehicles that never have to stop to fuel up, at least in principle. These vehicles are still being tested, and we may be years or decades away from this being consumer technology. But the future is bright! Electric cars allow charging via solar power, which removes one of the most damaging sources of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming and environmental disasters. However, the main drawback of electric cars is that you must charge them for so long, making journeys take longer and forcing users to spend an unrealistic amount of time waiting at charge points. This is fine if you can charge at home overnight, but if you must take a long trip, overnight, you expect to have to wait for a while.
Streetlights are another classic example of solar technology that has become widespread, although many do not realize this is how many streetlights work. Streetlights today often have solar panels on top, which charge during the day and not only power the light at night, but also tell the light when to turn on, by detecting when there is less sunlight. This is a very clever application of solar power that we all benefit from daily. However, most streetlights are also connected to the electrical grid, especially in less sunny areas, because we cannot rely on solar power where light is vital, such as at motorway junctions.
Solar-powered planes may be a thing of the future, but we are getting remarkably closer to that future every day. The technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and we will soon reach a point where we can stop using jet fuel (which is one of the worst fuels for the environment) and switch to sustainable electric power. Furthermore, these planes will eventually not need to stop, able to fly amazing distances for both utility and pleasure. Coupled with flying car technology, we could one day all own electric flying cars that never need to be charged, completely changing the way we live.
One of the main issues with solar power is that although the sun creates a lot of energy that we can harness, it is incredibly far away. Spaceships that fly closer to the sun overcome this obstacle, meaning that solar panels on spaceships can produce a lot more electricity. So much, in fact, that they must be carefully constructed and used because if flown too close to the sun or left on for too long, astronauts could cause damaging surges of excess electricity throughout the spacecraft. Most satellites, that hang in orbit around the planet, providing services such as mobile phone reception, internet capabilities, and radio signals, operate almost exclusively using the higher concentrate solar power they get from being closer to the sun. Some scientists have devised plans to create solar farms in space, close to the sun, with various proposed methods of shipping the electricity back to Earth, from gigantic cables to traditional spacecraft.
Solar panels on clothing are also being demonstrated at various technology conferences around the world. There is an increased focus on wearable technology, from smartwatches for fitness to kinetic energy harvesting shirts that provide additional energy to sports professionals. This trend means that clothing, for the first time ever, needs to be charged. It is annoying to have to remember to plug something in, and when it is worn outside in the sun, it might as well just be powered by solar power.
Solar panel roads are being experimented with in various places around the world. This is one of the most exciting and new innovations in solar panel technology. By replacing all roads in the world with solar panel roads, we could generate enough electricity to completely replace fossil fuel dependence.
In summary, there are plenty of common and exciting applications for solar panels, and the list is growing longer every day. There are certainly more than these top 10 uses of solar panels, but these are our 10 favorites. Get in touch if you have any exciting additions you would like featured and we will add them to this list!