The need for energy is always constant and growing in this modern age and the available non-renewable sources of energy in use currently are estimated to run out faster than the time it will take to replenish it. Therefore, there is a growing need for renewable energy sources and solar power is one source that will never run out as long as we live under the sun.
Nonetheless, the main method of harnessing solar power is through solar panels but not everyone has access to this for various reasons. The main one is the initial cost of installation of solar panels, which is very costly. Other reasons may be that one is living in a rented space that does not allow installation of solar panels or one simply does not want to go through the trouble of taking it down when switching living spaces.
Some roofs may also not have strategic advantages for solar installation as it is obstructed to the sun by something taller like a roof or building or one only needs solar energy on the go. Still, brilliant technological advancements have made it possible for everyone to access solar power without having to put panels on the roof. This article will take you through some of the innovative ways for getting solar power without putting panels on your roof.
1. The Use of Solar Power Converters/Adapter
This is a very simple and cheap method of tapping into the solar power grid without owning a power plant. All you have to do is have access to purchase what you need. This device measures the average daily energy use and purchases energy for you from certified solar farms. It uses a smart outlet adapter that measures the electricity you take from your wall outlet and upgrades it to solar power by purchasing small fractions of a solar energy certificate. This is a cheaper way of purchasing solar power in small bits rather than owning the whole grid.
2. Solar Sharing
Just imagine how convenient it would be if you could own the whole network subscription you use for communication. You would have full unlimited and uncharged access to network and you would be able to provide network to others. Owning a solar farm is quite similar. You can own a farm individually or as a community where you share the cost of construction as a group.
Once done, you will be able to get your electricity and have the opportunity to get credit for selling solar power to power companies or individuals. The profits of the credit can then be shared among the members of the group according to everyone’s initial investment. Alternatively, you can be part of a farm by leasing if it is costly to start a farm where you will be making monthly installments.
3. Peer-to-Peer Solar Sharing Networks
If you can’t own it, borrow it. It provides a better way to own something than sharing it. Solar energy can be shared by people living in close proximity to each other. A sun partner can harness solar power from a sun host who has installed panels on their roof, for a fee of course. This type of solar sharing is more personalized and easier as you get energy directly from your neighbors and you will never run out of energy as long as your neighbor has it.
4. Solar Powered Bike
It charges the battery while the bike is standing still. The solar cells and the battery provides energy for the motor while in motion. Other bikes run on solar power and do not require pedaling as it moves on the energy absorbed. The solar bikes have batteries that charge and once full, the energy stored can as well be used to charge phones and other small electric devices like tablets. Phones can also be mounted on the bike and used for navigational purposes.
5. Solar Powered Grid
The world is rapidly changing to renewable energy and as step towards this goal, governments are installing their own solar farm projects to power their countries. These initiatives are purely for the public and supported by private entities. These solar farms provide electricity to whole cities and can be as large as an airport. All that one needs to do is get connected to the grid as you do to the normal electric grid and get to enjoy energy at very low prices. It is done similarly as the case for geothermal energy and wind farms.
6. Solar Lights
Instead of connecting the whole grid system to a solar panel to use a bulb for lighting, one can use solar lights without having to mount a whole solar panel. These lights are mostly used in developing countries in areas where electricity is not reachable and it is too expensive to install a solar panel. The lights have a solar panel that charges during the day and can be used for lighting for a period of up to twelve hours.
Outdoor solar lights range from jar solar lights inserts that you can hang outside to harness solar power to solar powered motion sensor lights that are mounted outside and act as security lights. The motion detection lights are very functional for ensuring security in your home while saving energy as it only lights up when it detects movement.
7. Solar Power Plug
This is a device that is portable and provides the consumer with an outlet for plugging electronic devices. The device can be mounted on a window or wall that gets access to a large amount of the sunshine rays in your living area and it absorbs this solar energy and converts it to electricity.
This device features a direct plug in that you can directly plug your laptop or phone charger or any other low voltage electronic equipment and use it. This is power on the go as it is also portable and can be easily be carried with you while travelling so you can always have power.
8. Solar Roadways
There have been major technological advances that there will be paved roads with glass solar panels. This Modular paving system of solar panels can be installed on any flat lying ground exposed to the sun such as on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths and playgrounds. This covers a wide range of open ground thus the technology will be able to collect a large amount of energy.
Although the project is at its beginning stage, when it will be fully implemented, the entire city or neighborhood could be able to charge itself while on the move. The Glass surface is tested for traction, load testing and impact resistance where even movement of vehicles will not cause damages or prevent the energy from charging.
9. Solar Powered Backpacks
Solar powered backpacks have small panels at the front of the bag facing the open air and is exposed to the sun. Besides, solar backpacks are water resistant and can be used for all types of weather. Solar bags enables you to use power while literally on the go. One can simply plug in the laptop or the phone and move while they are charging. Solar backpacks also have a battery that fills up when charging and the power can be used during the night when there is no exposure to sunlight.
10. Solar Cookers
This innovation was developed to enable one cook outside with the help of solar energy. These are cookers mounted with solar panels on the side that absorb heat from the sun and can be used to cook from simple things like boiling water to barbeque that requires a large amount of energy. Solar cookers are a smart innovation that allows one to cook without the use of gas or fossil fuels namely firewood and coal that have detrimental effects to the environment such as the release of carbon to the air and loss of tree cover.
11. Solar Charged Devices
In this millennial age, the main reason we use power is to charge our phones and laptops. Well, what if you don’t have to plug in your phone or laptop charger in the socket ever again. Modern technological advancements allows for phones and laptops that are solar enabled.
All you have to do is walk around in the daylight with your phone or laptop and it automatically charges itself. The battery life can last up to twelve hours off charge that is from sun down to sun rise just in time for the sunlight the very next day.
12. Solar Water Heater
A solar water heater is a device that can be used to capture sun’s energy in order to heat the water in your pipes that can be used taking baths, showers, etc. Solar water heaters are widely used for residential as well as for some industrial applications. A solar power heater uses solar thermal collector installed on the roof to heat the water.
13. Portable Solar Generator
Portable solar generators are machines that convert solar energy into electrical energy. The other main benefit of these machines is that they are portable which means you can caryy them anywhere at your own convenience. When looking for an appropriate solar powered generator, a lot of factors need to be considered.
These include the size of the generator, the amount of time it takes to charge up the battery, the battery’s electrical capacity, the weight of the generator and the expected use that one might have for the generator. Here is a list of best solar powered generators available in the market right now.
14. Solar Powered Water Pumps
Solar water pumps are those that depend on solar energy to operate. They need the energy to pump water from the water source to the desired location. In other words, a solar powered water pump basically runs on sunlight. It functions just as all solar enabled devices, that is, through the conversion of solar energy into electrical energy. Here is a list of the best solar powered water pumps available in market right now.
15. Solar Powered Watch
A solar powered watch is a watch that runs entirely or partly by solar cell. Typically, sunlight and artificial light are absorbed by a solar panel behind the crystal. This solar panel converts the light into electrical energy to power the watch. The watch will usually store energy in a rechargeable cell to power itself during the night.