Solar in the Home

 

Solar on the Go

 

Solar Storage Technology

 

The Future of Solar

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When I Was a Young Warthog

Since I was young, I’ve always been a big fan of science fiction; especially stories of the future. Whether it was intelligent robots or flying cars, I would eat it all up. With the exception of some dystopian stories, you never saw any dirty forms of energy in movies that depict the future.

Now, living in the future world of 2018 I’m still surrounded by dirty energy. Most cars still belch diesel and gasoline fumes. Power stations are burning coal at an unprecedented rate. Things are so bad that we are apparently heating up the entire planet.

So where is my clean, futuristic energy? We don’t have a Mr. Fusion like in Back to the Future. We don’t have miracle batteries or some sort of unobtanium free energy. We’re still dependent on liquified dinosaur remains to make our cars go and lights stay on. That doesn’t seem right, but the good news is that things are changing fast. Will they change quickly enough to save the world from an ecological meltdown? Who knows? What we do know is that the ironclad reliance on fossil fuels no longer looks so sure. All you have to do is look up at the sky for the answer. Except don’t really do that, because we are talking about solar power and looking at the sun is, really, really bad for your eyes.

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Who is This Sun-Crazy Person

I guess this is where I need to formally introduce myself. I’m an all-round tech geek who tries to learn about anything cool. That includes robots, spaceships, computers, and anything else you can trace back to Star Trek and other classic works of science fiction.

I’ve always been somewhat interested in solar energy, but it wasn’t until I saw a friend of mine convert his entire home to off-grid solar that I really started wondering about how far the potential of solar energy could go. The answer I found is “all the way”, and there is no question that solar energy is going to play a central role in our future energy mix.

What really blows my mind is the vast array of solar technologies that can make a difference in our lives today. On this site you’ll find plenty of practical solar technologies that you can personally use to wean yourself away from the grid and battery anxiety. First however, we need to get some basic education.

Some Solar Education

To get everyone on the same page, I’ve created a section that goes over the basics of solar power. You can start off by reading a little on the history of solar power. Don’t worry, it’s just a short article that shows you how far solar technology has come in a short span of time.

The next logical stop is my article on how solar panels work, with a more detailed discussion of the underlying crystal technology if you really want to get into it.

I’ve also included a short guide on the things to consider before you actually buy any solar panels, to save you some headaches down the line.

Categories

Solar in the Home

Solar on the Go

Solar Storage Technology

The Future of Solar

Solar Right in Your Home

While it is awesome to contemplate entire cities and countries running off clean solar power, the revolution starts at home with you. If everyone invested in solar power for their home, then the grid would have no choice but to downscale and perhaps even go away under some circumstances. Of course, due to the cost of solar power technology, this isn’t possible for everyone. However, middle class folks can now afford to get into home solar power bit by bit.

For example, you can start by changing your external lighting to solar. Outdoor solar lighting is affordable and incredibly easy to install. You just poke the light in the ground and the job’s done.

Changing your water heater for a solar water heater is also a relatively low-hanging fruit; one that will save you hundreds of dollars every year.

I also take a decent look at the latest solar roof tile technology, an approach to solar power that makes it look like you aren’t using solar power. Personally I think solar panels are cool, but I guess some people want to be more discreet about how awesome they are.

Your pool can get a solar makeover too, which means a much longer swimming season and lower operating costs for filtration.

Moving inside the home, you can find out how solar power sizing works and how to pick appliances that are more energy efficient. Those two activities go hand-in-hand.

On the more technical side, you should know the pros and cons of ground-mounted solar panels, since it seems many people only know about roof mounts. You can also learn about the all-important inverter and its essential role in making your home solar supply work with all your appliances.

Solar On the Go

In some ways, home solar installations are a little boring. I mean, they are awesome, it’s just that they aren’t really sexy. If you really want to impress the right sorts of people, you need to take some cutting edge solar tech with you when you leave the house. Not only will it make you more attractive (not really), it will actually make your life easier.

Solar cookers are one of my favorite things. They are special devices that take sunlight and use it to cook food. Not only are these making huge changes in parts of the world without clean water and electricity, the food you can cook with solar cookers is on a whole other level. I’ve even compiled a solar cooking guide with tips just to show that this is no poor person’s BBQ.

The rest of mobile solar life is covered handily by portable solar panels, solar backpacks, and lithium battery banks to store up all that captured sunlight.

solar farms

Storing Solar Power

Speaking of storing up juice, if you’ve wanted to understand how to save your solar power for later, like at night, you’ve come to the right website. I have an in-depth article that explains the types of solar storage technologies we can get today. There’s also a short article on the latest safe lithium battery technology because, as you probably know, the ones we have now can explode and burn down your house.

I’ve also compiled a guide to solar generators, which are complete solar power systems in miniature, although in most cases you have to buy the solar panels separately. I’ve also found some prime examples of these generators to get you started.

With the right storage medium you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice when the sun is out of the picture.

Where Will Solar Go in the Future?

While the solar tech of 2018 is incredibly impressive, the future holds the real fun stuff. For example, we may have electric cars that draw at least some of their power from solar panels built into their bodywork. It’s not just cars either – electric airplanes are also on the up and up. Literally.

What about normal windows that also double as solar panels? Or the radical idea of having solar roads? Neither of these may ever be mainstream, but it’s cool to dream.

I also take some time to compare the future of solar to the future of nuclear power. Nuclear power has developed a bad reputation over the decades, but there may be a bright future for nuclear and solar to live side-by-side. Who knows? It might happen.

Finally, there’s some prognostication on my part about the general future of solar, but knowing my luck I’ll probably be wrong about it all! Still, it’s always fun to speculate about the future and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Developing a Sunny Disposition

My sincere wish for anyone who browses my website is that they will walk away with a new sense of respect and interest for solar power. I’m not saying that everyone should run out right now and convert their lives to nothing but power from the sun. That would be silly, expensive, and impractical – at least for now.

No, what I want is that you are aware of solar’s ability to change our world, and to let other people know that it’s become much more than an interesting science experiment. The age of solar is upon us and it looks like once again we’re going to be putting the sun at the center of our world – even if it’s only to watch TV and make icy-cold drinks.