If you've been considering the use of solar energy to help power your home, vehicle, or outside appliances, you may feel like the only options out there are boring or overdone. However, recently a number of individuals have devised creative and innovative ways to harness the sun's energy and use it to power a variety of devices. Read on to learn more about three creative ways you can use solar power.
Solar security systems
If you've ever felt you need a security system for your home or garage but haven't wanted to invest in a system that requires monthly maintenance and ongoing electricity costs, a solar security system may be a great choice.
These systems operate through dozens or more of small solar cells placed in sunny spots around the perimeter of your property. Solar energy harnessed by these panels is routed to a central switchboard and converted to electricity, which is used to power the system.
You won't need to worry about break-ins on cloudy days either -- these security systems have an electric backup that ensures they are active at all times.
One fascinating solar innovation of the last few decades is the solar suitcase. This portable energy device includes the panels needed to collect solar rays as well as the converter used to create electricity from this energy.
Solar suitcases are great for wilderness camping, extended power outages, and using in lieu of a lengthy extension cord to power tools and devices. Depending on the storage capacity of the suitcase, you may be able to store solar rays to permit you to use the suitcase on cloudy days as well.
The next time you are planning a sunny backyard barbecue, consider using a solar oven instead. Unlike the other solar devices listed, these ovens do not include solar panels or any energy conversion devices -- the heat used to cook food is the only component.
Solar ovens come in several styles. Traditional "box ovens" are the most common and are used widely across the world. These ovens rely on an insulated box to catch the sun's rays and refract them inside the box, creating enough heat to thoroughly cook food. (If cooking meat, be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure your food reaches the desired internal cooking temperature.)
The other type of solar oven is capable of cooking food much more quickly, and looks somewhat like a concave reflective mirror. This mirror focuses the sun's rays on one central spot, which reaches a very high temperature.
A solar oven can not only serve as a great new way to cook food, but will be the central topic of discussion at in a social gathering.
For more information about solar power and solar innovations, check out companies like Jersey Solar.