15 Most Common Uses of Solar Energy

As we all know by now, solar energy refers to the generation of energy by harnessing sunlight using photovoltaic cells. In the present day, solar energy is not an alien concept found merely in educational institutions. It has a rather practical application today.

Like any other technological advancement, using solar energy involves high costs that can’t be ignored. Nonetheless, several homeowners out there have begun using this renewable source of energy on an everyday basis.

Going solar by no means implies that you have to go beyond your financial capacity to make everything operate on solar power. Loads of solar-powered devices can operate themselves and other DIY options as well, which will allow you to create your personalized solar system kits.


Most Common Uses Of Solar Energy

  1. Solar Refrigerator

    One could also use solar energy to power the refrigerator. If you are wondering how many solar panels you need, then let me tell you that some of the best solar refrigerators may not need many.

    One may need only about three to four solar panels to power a refrigerator. On average, in the US, the fridge may use approximately 57 kWh to 58 kWh. As a result, using up to four solar panels could easily suffice your need.

    Having said that, if you have a mini fridge that is not a solar refrigerator, you might also wonder how many watts a mini fridge uses. In that case, you may need 80 to 100 watts to operate a mini fridge. Hence, you would require a setup of three to four solar panels.

  2. Solar Powered Ventilation Fans

    Any kind of ventilation fan is an appropriate idea because they enable you to reduce your cooling costs by exhausting warm air found in the attic and other such areas. Conventionally, the fans operate on the electrical current of your household, thereby defeating the primary purpose of saving energy. 

    You can now purchase roof vent fans that are self-contained. They consist of a small panel composed of photo-electric cells which function on a fan motor, eliminating the need for household electricity. If you want to keep your chicken coop, garage, doghouse, or shed during the summer season, go for small units that are preferably roof-mounted. You can even opt for solar-powered fans, which are free-standing and, therefore, can be easily placed on your patio or your kid’s patio to provide respite from the heat. 

  3. Solar Heating For Your Swimming Pool

    Everyone loves to enjoy swimming with their friends and family. But if your pool water is a little too cold, you will likely be put off. This is where a solar blanket comes into the picture. It functions as a heating device that absorbs the sun’s heat and conducts the heat to water. 

    If you are interested in investing a little more, you can install a solar water heating system. Now, this system works by utilizing the heat from the solar panels which is conducted to the water via a series of tubes that loop across the panels. The temperature of the water will eventually increase as the water circulates through the heating panels. 

  4. Solar Water Heater

    We have the active solar water heater system and the passive solar water heater system. Any one of these systems can be used as a replacement for the conventional water heaters which use electricity or gas as a power source.  

  5. Active Water Heater Systems

    The active heater system either refers to the direct or indirect circulation system. The direct system uses solar collectors to circulate household water inside the home. On the other hand, the indirect system uses a non-freezing liquid conducted via the solar collectors to your heat exchanger, leading to your home. In low-temperature areas, the indirect system comes into play. 

  6. Passive Water Heater Systems

    The passive water heater system consists of integral collector storage passive systems and thermosiphon systems. The former system integrates a solar collector directly into the water storage tank. It is ideal for places that have extremely low temperatures. On the other hand, the thermosiphon systems use a design that positions the solar collector lower than the storage tank. These tanks are usually installed on the roof; therefore, one ought to be careful with them. 

  7. Solar House Heating

    You can use the sunlight to heat your entire house in either of the two ways. If you are someone who is truly committed to energy conservation, this system is for you. 

  8. Hot Water Solar Systems

    The hot water solar systems function as a large-scale version of a similar type of system which can substitute the water heater that provides hot water with faucets. This system uses solar collector panels to heat water, which then moves through the tubing that laces across the control panels.

    The hot water system caters to two purposes: providing heating to the entire house and heating water so that it can be used at faucets. Note that the hot water solar system is a large-scale system that requires sophisticated tanks and circulation technology. Such systems have a practical application in businesses. Nonetheless, there’s no harm in setting them up for residential use. 

  9. Hot Air Solar Systems

    As the name indicates, the hot air solar system uses hot air instead of water or any other liquid to circulate warmth throughout the house. This system functions by collecting air that has been heated as a result of the sunlight on the roof or an exposed wall. This heat is then circulated throughout the house. 

    This system can be viewed as a substitute or a larger version of the conventional sunroom for ease of understanding. The primary purpose served by the hot air solar systems is to heat single rooms only. 

  10. Solar Powered Pumps 

    One of the demerits of a few hot water heating systems that have been elaborated upon above necessitates using a pump for circulating water. These pumps generally use conventional energy sources, thereby consuming the energy you planned to save. 

    But if you want an extremely energy-efficient model, you can opt for photo-electric panels to operate the circulating pumps. Although the set-up costs of this system are comparatively higher, your operating costs would be reduced to almost zero. Similar to the other photo-electric systems, you can store the sun’s energy in batteries to use for circulating pumps on a cloudy day or at night. 

  11. Charging Batteries With Solar Power

    Literally speaking, all the devices that use batteries can be charged by using solar power. This requires the mediation of a photo-electric panel system. These panels serve the function of generating DC current, the form used in all batteries. There are several solar budget-friendly kits out there that enable you to plug in your laptops, and cell phones to charge them directly. 

    If you consider this on a larger scale, solar power has the potential to charge a large number of storage batteries which can be used to provide power to any AC device, which is 120 volts. 

  12. Power Your Home With Photo-Electric

    If used on a large scale, solar power has the potential to power the energy needs of your entire house. This system is simple to set up, although it may sound complicated. The solar panels are lined using polycrystalline silicon that emits a slight electrical charge upon reacting with sunlight. These panels are connected together either on your roof or on any open land that faces the sun. Once the DC current has been converted into an AC current, you can conveniently use it to power your cabin, home, tool shed, or other similar buildings. 

    In several locations, there is an undertaking wherein the utility companies meter your house in a way that they record your energy generation, thereby offering you credit for using it. The installation costs of this operation are high, but the operating costs are relatively low once the operation is on board. 

  13. Solar Energy For Cooking

    You can even use solar energy to prepare a meal simply. It has become relatively popular these days to use solar energy for cooking purposes. It is an easy process that requires a box, aluminum foil, styrofoam insulation, a pan, a cooking bag, a thermometer, and duct tape. The significance of any solar cooker is preparing a container lined with foil or any other shiny material to focus the sun rays inside a cooking chamber. There are hundreds of solar cooker plans that you can find online. 

  14. Solar-Powered Transportation

    Solar-powered transportation involves the use of solar energy for transportation purposes. We have solar cars that transform sunlight into electrical energy for charging the battery of your car’s battery and to provide energy to the electric motor of your car. Similar procedures are followed for buses and two-wheelers to facilitate energy conservation by all means. 

  15. Solar Energy For Outdoor Lighting

    You can set up perfect landscape lighting, which has individual lighting fixtures. Usually, every one of these will have its respective solar cell and a solar rechargeable battery. While the traditional versions were more or less punky fixtures, the newer versions involve improved batteries and LED technology that offers impressive lighting. 

    As is obvious, the batteries are charged by solar panels throughout the day, and therefore, they have enough charge to remain lit throughout the night. In addition, there are a wide variety of seasonal lights which use solar panels.


Therefore, there are several ways to harness solar energy. Exploiting sunlight to generate electricity is one way of conserving power. You can use solar power in any or all of the ways mentioned above if you are an ardent environmentalist.

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