Without the light and heat from the sun, there would be no life on earth. Through photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to grow. Animals get their energy from the plants they eat. Even wind and the fact that liquid water exists on earth are due to the effects of sunlight. Solar energy can be used for a variety of purposes. There are three relatively new ways that humans use the energy from the sun. Windows are designed to make optimal use of natural sunlight. Solar water heaters use the radiant heat from sunlight to heat water. Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly to electricity.

Passive Solar Design

When windows are placed so that they catch the natural sunlight during the day, the interior of the home can be heated. Heating this way is important in cooler climates where there is a need for winter heating and where cost of other methods of heat, such as natural gas or electricity, are very expensive. A good passive solar design would include thermal mass in the interior of the home that is heated by the sunlight during the day and radiates the heat back into the home at night time. Examples of thermal mass include concrete and brick.

Solar Water Heaters

In solar water heaters, water is circulated through flat panels that are usually installed on rooftops. The water is then used as warm water in the dwellings or in swimming pools. Some solar water heaters have sealed systems using antifreeze. The heat is then conducted to the domestic water system through a heat exchanger. In warmer countries, solar water heaters provide approximately 85% of domestic hot water used.

Photovoltaic Cells

Solar cells convert light into electricity using the photovoltaic effect. What this means, in simple terms, is that light energy excites the electrons in the cells causing electricity. The current produced is DC so a converter is needed to change the power output into AC current. Solar power is used in many different ways. Some stand-alone devices include calculators, stop sign lights, emergency/camping devices, battery chargers, security cameras, garden fountains, walkway lighting, radios, and spacecraft. Sometimes, solar panels are connected electronically to a grid system. The energy from these grids is delivered to residential homes and businesses and can then be used to power any electrical device.

Ultimately, all energy on earth, aside from geothermal and nuclear, comes from the sun. Without sunlight, all life on earth would become extinct. Luckily for us, the sun is estimated to last for another 2-4 billion years.

Related Sites

Related Posts

6 Responses to “Common Uses of Solar Energy in Modern Homes”

  1. winetou Says:

    alternative energy sources exist.. but people don`t use it as they should be. Maybe after we consume all the planet`s resources, we`ll know we should have taken care of Earth.. but i`ll bee too late.

  2. Sabeena Ibrahim Says:

    I Think this is usefull for peoples. Because By this by this solar energy people will save electricity It will help to the country. By using nature people will get benifit for thier life and health.

  3. Suhasini K Bhat Says:

    When plants can use solar energy and animals can indirectly use solar energy, why human beings alone have not yet learnt to effectively use solar energy? This article provides very useful information about common uses of solar energy. It can act as an eye opener for those who are yet to use solar energy in their homes.

  4. Calen K Says:

    humans are definately using solar energy either directly or indirectly much more than animals you dumb bitch

  5. Vicky Gilhousen Says:

    I need to that I had been a little leary of all the so-called hype going on around solar. After thinking about many different programs and get options my husband and I decided to make the leap. We finished up getting solar without the need of money down and we all immediatly started putting money aside the first month is was installed. I have to admit that this advantages of solar look like real and I am happy that we made a decision to move forward with it.

  6. Yusufchy Says:

    Solar energy is the only source of energy that promise to save our earth. I believe one day this energy will be used every sector in the world with much more advance technology. Anyway, your solar energy use list is very useful. Thanks

Leave a Reply