Solar energy is available and is being accepted by people as the most sustainable, affordable, and clean energy source. Solar power systems are the clean and pure energy from the sun.
Installing solar panels at homes and residences helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuels and other utility means.
The most abundant use of solar energy is its conversion into electricity as an alternative for the energy source.
Electricity is mostly sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. As opposed to it, solar energy is renewable energy sourced from sunlight.
That’s the reason why solar energy is being used on such a large scale. Apart from their traditional usage of heating water and cooking, nowadays solar energy is being used to operate many more types of products.
This article will discuss 5 of such innovative product ideas that use solar energy.
But first, we will learn how different products work on solar energy.
How Do Solar Products Work?
Solar-powered products, for instance, solar water heating systems, use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology that converts sunlight or solar radiation into electricity by using semiconductors.
A photovoltaic cell is also known as a solar cell. It is a device that generates electricity when exposed to light particle photons.
They are made of semiconductor material, which has the ability to conduct electricity in between an insulator and a good conductor.
Solar cells consist of silicon semiconductors that can absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity.
Sunlight includes Photon, which is a particle of light. They possess energy in different amounts depending on which solar spectrum wavelength they belong to.
When photons hit a solar cell, some photons are absorbed while others are reflected.
When the silicon semiconductor absorbs adequate photons, electrons carrying a negative charge move to the surface of the solar cell. It is able to be receptive to the free electrons.
When a number of such electrons move the cell, there is an imbalance of charge between the cell’s surfaces, which ultimately creates a voltage potential like the negative and positive terminals of a battery. When these two surfaces are connected, electricity starts flowing.
This entire exercise describes how light energy is converted into electrical energy to operate products.
The generated power is stored in an inverter or storage device to utilize for later use.
Five Most Incredible Solar Products You Might Didn’t Know Did Exist
Once we are done with understanding of the process, let us see how different solar products adapt to the process and operate on solar energy. You are about to learn about some exciting solar products apart from the popularly acclaimed top solar power system used for home.
Solar Vehicles- Solar Scooters, Solar Boats, And Solar Bikes
The best example would be solar bikes that run using the electrical energy of batteries to run the hub motor, which ultimately runs the bicycle. Solar energy is used to charge the battery. Two Photovoltaic cells may be used to harness solar energy to generate voltage to charge in the bike.
Solar Lights- Solar Home Light, Street Lights, And Garden Light
Solar lights don’t need direct sunlight, but just light in some form to charge solar lights. However, this can be produced without the presence of sunlight. Hence, solar lights can get charged from artificial light, incandescent bulbs, LED lamps, etc.
A photoreceptor is attached in the setup which detects when it gets dark and turns on the light. This is usually made up of several light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The battery then supplies electricity to the light throughout the night.
Solar-powered UAVs use solar cells installed onboard to capture the solar energy reaching the surface of the aircraft during the day. This generated power is supplied to the motor to propel the aircraft and other electronics or recharge the battery. The battery supplies power when in darkness or under clouds.
Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters too work on the photovoltaic effect. The system works on the photovoltaic principle and is designed to provide hot water without consuming expensive electricity. This is the most effective way to generate hot water and is environmentally friendly. It makes use of solar panels to capture the light and convert it into electricity.
Solar Air Conditioner
A solar air conditioner combines solar electricity and air conditioning. It uses solar energy to power your AC.
The captured power by solar panels converts the Sun rays into electrical energy. This is known as DC power. The air conditioner then uses this DC power, either directly as DC or after conversion into AC and heats or cools your home.