Fact: The sun produces more energy in one day than our current population would consume in 27 years (altenergy.org). We know that the sun’s light provides a wealth of energy. The challenge nations across the globe continue to face relates to improving the harnessing of this energy. While there is no shortage of research regarding this endeavor, significant advancements continue to elude us. Below are two examples of studies presently being explored:
- Japan is investigating the collection of solar power via space based satellite systems.
- Several power companies are presently using or preparing to use Concentrated Solar Power, which employs mirrors and/or lenses to condense and direct a large stretch of solar light toward a small area. The production of electrical power occurs when this concentrated light is changed to heat. The heat is then used to propel an engine that transmits power to drive an electric generator.
Until major progress is made in this area we can chose to be proactive in small, individual ways by instituting our own practices, to harness the sun’s wonderful energy…picking our battles, as it were. Every singular effort can make a difference. Here are a few suggestions:
Skylights have been around forever. They have always provided an efficient way to bring heat and light into a specific area. Now however, construction and esthetic improvements have made them a functional and fashionable way to beautify, light and warm any space. The development of tubular skylights has virtually eliminated the one problem responsible for dissuading consumers from ever considering skylights…leakage. Because tubular skylights provide light through a dome rather than a pane of glass, they are less likely to seep. Few types of mood or accent lighting can replicate the beauty of the natural illumination a skylight provides. Because they are available in various shapes and sizes and many of them are indistinguishable from standard electrical lighting fixtures. Some skylights are actually equipped with dimmers so the amount of light and/or heat dispensed can be controlled. Skylights are of special interest to individuals suffering from Seasonal Affect Disorder. Now they can lift their spirits without exposing themselves harmful sunlamps.
Use Solar Power to Charge Electronics
Charging electronics large and small can be energy efficient thanks to a host of newly developed solar chargers. Think of all the items you need to charge: cell phones, laptops, and tablets among other devices. Now, you can charge all your electronics with the power of the sun. Foldable panels that are charged in the sun are available at most stores that sell electronics. You simply charge them during the day and place your electronics on them at night and they will be fully charged and ready to use, some in as little as thirty minutes. No electricity is required, and you’ll never need to feel guilty because you neglected to unplug your charger. Once again, the sun will get the job done, on or off the grid.
Install a Solar-powered Attic Fan
A solar powered attic fan is a great opportunity take advantage of the suns endless energy. An overheated attic causes air-conditioning systems to work harder to maintain the temperature registered on the thermostat. A solar powered attic fan will ventilate your attic, reduce utility costs and also help maintain the life of your roof. The yellowblue SolarFan not only uses airflow technology and year of aerodynamic engineering experience, but qualifies for a 26% federal tax credit!
An accumulation of small efforts can result in major changes. So until science can figure-out how to power the world for a year, let’s all do what we can…one person…one effort…one day at a time.