Since its humble beginnings in the 1880s, during the American Industrial Revolution, solar energy production has made baby steps towards viability. Then, with global climate change looming, a boom in solar demand rippled across the world in the late 90s and early 2000s. Solar has rapidly become available to the average person at affordable prices for home energy production. An interesting by-product of solar technologies becoming less expensive to produce is the out-of-the-box ways the collected energy can be utilized. Here are 5 things you may not have thought solar energy could do.
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1. Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging
With this new, eco-friendly auto tech on the rise, it seems fitting for solar energy to rise to meet this need. Charging EV from solar panels is a great alternative to connecting them to the grid. Charging an EV requires immense power, and this tech could save you a few bucks in the long run as well.
2. Cell Phone Charging
Solar panel technology has become so compact that it can be installed inside a phone case; this gives you access to unlimited energy, for charging purposes, whenever the sun shines. If you don’t want it attached to your phone, there are also solar power banks that can be charged up and ready to use at a moment’s notice. The bonus benefit of these solar power banks is that they can be used to charge up more than just your cell phone.
3. Powering Boats
There is nothing like relaxing out on the water on a leisurely boat ride. Smelling the gasoline from the motor and listening to the sounds of said motor blasting through the silence is incredible– said no one ever. While a long way off from fully powering, say, a yacht, there have been a few instances of small skiffs being completely run off solar. The technology is there, and it is advancing at great speeds.
Read More: Role Of Solar Panels In Powering A House
4. Heated Pools
It is a shame your pool can only be used for about 6 months of the year without feeling like you are swimming in ice water. Pool heaters have been around for a while, but none with the eco-friendly, money-saving possibilities that the newest solar the can provide. A pump pulls the water from the pool into solar collectors, where the water circulates and heats before being deposited back into the pool. This same technology can be used to cool the pool in warmer climates as well.
While this tech is still in its infancy, it is making some promising developments. In the very near future, things like your fitness tracker will no longer need to be removed to charge. Simply wearing your device out in the sun for an hour will be enough to charge your wearable for a few days. This tech would not only benefit the avid exerciser but also has medical applications for monitoring patients, especially older adults.
The world is just getting started exploring the incredible opportunities solar power can open up to them. Keep an eye out, as there will most certainly be more exciting things coming from solar in the years to come.