It is expected in the next 20-40 years that consumption of natural gases like propane and gasoline will become obsolete. People are now faced with the very real truth that fossil fuels cannot last forever. One day, sooner than we may all think, we will be forced to find alternative sources of energy. One optional source of energy is solar power. Currently the world population is only harnessing about 1% of all available solar power. If every household could convert their energy usage into solar power emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants would be greatly reduced, if not eliminated.
Solar heating may become the energy source of the very near future. Over the past few years many commercial buildings have resorted to using solar water heating and solar heat sources to save money and energy. It is time that all people converted their traditional energy sources like gas and electricity to solar power. Solar power is easily converted into other sources of energy you use in your home everyday like hot water, heat, and electricity.
One home heating product you can use are solar water heating systems. These systems are made up of metal panels that are filled with water. These panels are built or placed onto the outside structure of your home facing the greatest area of sun exposure. As the sun heats the panels the water inside is heated. The hot water then travels through pipes into your homes plumbing system giving you hot water at the turn of a faucet. This hot water can be used for anything from showers, to laundry, and dishes. Built in water filtration can also be added at the same time for cleaner and healthier water.
Solar energy can also be used as an electrical source. Sun light is soaked up using Photovaltaic (PVs) cells (solar cells). when solar power was first introduced solar panels were very large and usually obstructed the view of the home. Now solar panels used in residential building have become much more streamlined to match the regular shingles of your roof. Uni-solar roofing shingles are flexible, thin solar cells. They are attached to the roof using standard roofing nails. Installation includes a 30 lb. felt underlay. The Uni-solar shingles are designed to compliment surrounding shingles, and are much less obtrusive to the view of the home.
When sun hits the PV shingles it passes through, or becomes absorbed, or is reflected off the shingle. Only the absorbed energy is converted into electricity , which in turn can make hot water and heat, as well as light your home at night. The heat of the sun light also causes the PV shingles to bond together forming a water tight surface that protects the underlying wires and computers. After the energy has been converted into energy it is stored in a giant battery with a meter. Each day the sun recharges the battery and then you can use it over, and over again.
Sometimes the meter will turn back wards. This means that you are creating more energy than you are using. The extra energy is released as heat and cannot be stored, unless you have installed 2 or more batteries. It is possible to convert enough solar energy in 1 hour to run your home for 3-4 days at a time. Once the electricity has been converted you can use it for a number of things throughout your home.
One other type of solar energy used to heat the home is passive solar energy. Using passive solar energy is quite unique because it does not use Photovaltaic cells to convert energy. Instead passive building materials are used that absorb the sun light and heat it radiates. As the outside temperature begins to lower the home releases heat from the walls, ceilings, and floors. Wood products for flooring and sheetrock like products for passive solar heating are a relatively new technology and not widely available.
Other than using passive solar building materials, over sized windows and ceiling fans can help you harness the power of the sun. Over sized windows allow natural sunlight to enter the home while containing heat in the space. Heat rises, this is a fact. When it begins to cool down at night turn the ceiling fans on in a counter clockwise motion so that the warm air is forced downward into the room.
We have come to a time where it is relatively feasible to install and use solar power in your home. Although it is still rather expensive to complete a solar power project, it will easily pay itself off with 2-3 years use. The PV shingle roughly start at $150 USD per shingle. This can be quite expensive even if you are only doing the sun ward facing side of the roof.
Solar energy materials typically last for 20-30 years and are quite dependable, even in bad weather. Uni-Solar Photovoltaic shingles were honored by Popular Science Magazine and Discovery Magazine for their creative design and durable product. Using solar energy will help reduce the human reliance on natural energy supplies that will become depleted in the years to come.