Solar power involves harnessing the power of the sun to produce light and heat for buildings and homes. With today’s rising fuel costs, many people are turning to this alternative source of power as a means of heating their homes. The initial cost of setting up such as system may be more expensive, but the long- term costs are much less expensive.
You already have experience using solar power, even though you may not realize it. Calculators that will operate without batteries as long as they are close to a light source are very common examples. Greenhouses rely on solar power to help the plants to grow. They are usually constricted of translucent plastic that harnesses the power of the sun and transforms it into the heat and light that plants need.
This use of the sun is not a modern idea. Thousands of years ago the Anasazi peoples used the same technology in their cliff dwelling homes. Adobe homes are another example of how people have used the power of the sun throughout history. Today this age old technology is called passive solar heating. It simply means that the heat from the sun is collected and distributed throughout a home with using any means of pumping it through.
Different methods of solar power
There are several different ways of collecting and using power from the sun for your daily needs:
a. Photovoltaic roof tiles – These are special tiles that are used on the roof of a house to take full advantage of sunlight. The tiles are the material used for the roof covering and the cells in these tiles trap the sunlight and transform it into electricity.
b. Specially designed buildings – Buildings can have a special design in order to collect the heat radiated by the sun. They usually face toward the sun in order to take full advantage of every second of daylight. There are large glass windows in every room and in summer, balconies and large trees are used as shade to prevent the entry of too much of the sun’s heat during the day.
c. Heated Water Pipes – Using the heat from the sun to heat water pipes that run throughout the house is becoming the common method of using solar power. The pipes are painted black and placed in a type of greenhouse that will absorb the heat from the sun. This helps to keep water hot without having to use electricity. Having the pipes running through each room allows the solar power to heat the house in a manner similar to radiation heating systems.
d. Solar panels – These are panels placed on the roof of a home to collect the heat from the sun. They are designed to maximize the light and the heat and in so doing cut down on fuel costs for the homeowner.
Many countries of the world are beginning to realize the effectiveness of solar power, not just in terms of fuel costs, but also in the fight against pollution. There are no fumes or pollutants being released into the air with using solar power.