How is Solar Energy Used?

8 Simple Ways to Use Solar Energy

How is solar energy used? Learn eight ways to use solar energy affordably and which types of solar power are available to bring clean energy to your home.

how is solar energy used

The viability of renewable energy sources is constantly being reviewed and tested due to our growing dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels.

For many years now, solar energy has been the focus of research as a solution to both the energy and pollution crises that our planet is facing.

Two Types of Solar Energy

There are two types of eco-friendly solar energy: active solar energy and passive solar energy. Active solar energy utilizes solar cells to generate electrical currents.

Passive solar energy is used when construction a building or home on an east-west axis. The south face of the building or home is constructed with glass so that it can soak up sunlight.

The good news is that if you are in a financial position to build a new home, the cost of incorporating passive solar energy sources into your home is roughly the same as building a conventional home without the same ability.

How is Solar Energy Used and Why?

Here are 8 simple ways to use solar energy:

  1. Heating water – swimming pools, buildings, and residential homes

  2. Heating indoor spaces – greenhouses, buildings, and homes

  3. Interior lighting – hybrid solar lighting is a form of active solar energy used to provide light inside a building via the strategic placement of mirrors and optical fibers. Nearly 50% of the sunlight received is used to provide interior lighting using this method.

  4. Gardens and walkways – individual solar lights that naturally soak up sunlight during the day will light up at dusk to help illuminate gardens and walkways

  5. Cooking - it is now possible to use a solar power ovens and a variety of other devices which use sunlight to cook food, dry food, and can even be used for pasteurization.

  6. Distillation – to make saline water potable

  7. Greenhouses – the greenhouse effect simply means that sunlight is used to help plants thrive. Methods such as timed planting cycles; row orientation and others utilize the best position of the sun. The sun’s rays are also “captured” and used to heat greenhouses through the colder months to ensure that plants can thrive year-round.

  8. Construction – a new home or building can be constructed in such a way as to take full advantage of the direction of the sun. This method of construction allows for more natural lighting and heat, which translates into a more energy-efficient space.

Why Use Solar Energy?

Some people want to go green once they figure out the answers to that burning question, “how is solar energy used?” and realize they can not only save the environment, but also save money.

Some areas are experiencing energy costs that are going through the roof, so businesses and homeowners are making the investment to utilize solar energy in an effort to reduce their monthly and yearly energy costs.

Still others desire to become completely self-sufficient from the energy companies, so they figure out how to use sunlight to provide all their energy needs.

Regardless of the reason you’re looking to switch to solar energy as an energy source, be encouraged. There are always new technologies being developed and designed to take advantage of this amazing renewable energy source, the sun.

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