Solar power is free and readily available for use as a source of energy. Harnessing this clean source of renewable energy is a profitable investment for both domestic as well as industrial level use. Solar power panels create electricity to power all electrical demands of a home, while solar heating and cooling systems cater to the thermal settings of a home.
Water heating, space heating and cooling consume about 75% of residential energy in the US. According to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), about $266 billion are spent each year to power 115 million homes in the US. Renewable energy such as solar energy can be an economical alternative to traditional energy sources.
How solar energy works
Using solar radiation to significantly decrease the amount of electricity that you use, solar heating systems are growing in their popularity especially in regions with sufficient solar exposure. Greatest savings can be achieved by substituting solar technology to reduce the heaviest electricity loading systems in a domestic situation. Solar geysers and other solar photovoltaic systems are extensively chosen by many environmentally inclined families.
- Solar air heating
Solar heating systems are efficient is capturing the thermal energy reaching the Earth from Sun and using them to power air heating for homes. Using a non-toxic liquid, water or air can be used to transfer the captured heat. The built-in air systems heat the air collected and fans installed distribute this heated air.
These systems can use energy storage systems to provide heat when there is no sunshine. Solar cooling systems are also available to reduce the strain that traditional air conditioners produce on the domestic and industrial electric grid.
- Solar water heating
Solar water heating systems are cost-efficient and easy to install. Available in two variants, these systems can either be active, which rely on an electric pump to circulate the heated water or passive systems that rely on thermodynamics to move the water.
These systems have three chief components – thesolar collector which collects and stores the available solar energy and then transfers it to the potable water through an insulating piping. The heated water is then stored in the hot water storage tank for use on demand. A properly installed solar water heating system can save up to 80% of hot water demands of a home.
- Pool Heating
The acceptance of solar pool heating systems in the US has been consistently increasing over the span of the last 35 years. Significant energy conservation is possible by using this system for pool heating. The variables that come into play are whether, climate, indoor or outdoor location of the pool.
The built-in solar collector will transfer the heated water through the pool’s filtration system. It is estimated that the energy required to heat an outdoor competition-sized pool located in a warm climate is approximately comparable to the annual natural gas consumption of 150 homes.
- Solar geysers
Built with a special solar panel which uses solar radiation to heat the water that is then stored in a solar tank, solar geysers are a great investment for domestic purposes. Extremely efficient and considerably cheap in thelong term, solar geysersis South Africa are about 89% efficient.
Much more robust in build than a conventional electric geyser, the solar tank can store the heated water for use. A typical electric geyser accounts for about 50% of an average household electricity bill. Some such geysers come with an electric back-up, for the days with low sunshine levels. Starting at prices of R25000 these geysers are sufficient for a family of four.
Solar energy has found myriad applications at domestic, commercial, and industrial levels. This technology can be used to form electricity or heat to cut down on bills. Solar air and water heating systems find tremendous results for households.