Home solar power systems are becoming increasingly popular as they help the average person to help clean up the environment on a “micro-level.” While the installation of solar panels on one home may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, imagine what a difference it would make to global pollution levels, if even one out of fifty home-owners installed clean and renewable energy systems, to replace or reduce their dependence on the power grids. And, while solar power installation does often require an initial investment, it can pay off financially in the long run. New laws on net metering, tax credits, and other government incentives, help to make this possible.
Many people have been able to install solar energy systems in their homes by setting up the systems themselves on a DIY (do-it-yourself) basis. DIY solar power kits and manuals exist which allow you to set up a solar power system for a fraction of the usual cost.
There are numerous other ways to utilize solar energy in the home – from solar panels to solar shingles, to solar water heaters, to solar garden lights and even solar pool heaters. In many cases, using solar energy for these purposes is not only kinder to the environment but more convenient as well. Outdoor solar lights, for example, don’t require any cables and can be set up very quickly. This makes a big difference when you consider that running cables outdoors involves digging channels underground, setting up proper insulation, etc.
Portable solar power is also becoming increasingly popular as our society begins to depend upon and utilize electronics for just about everything. Twenty years ago you would probably have been happy to take a regular film camera with you on a hiking trip in the mountains. But these days, most of us would prefer to take our digital cameras. That means new solutions have to be developed to make it possible for us to run these devices without access to conventional sources of electricity.
Portable solar chargers can take many forms – they may be flexible chargers, that you can roll up and carry with you in your backpack. Some solar chargers are foldable, some portable solar panels can be carried in your car, or installed on the roof of an RV (Recreational Vehicle). These panels give one a form of alternative energy that will work anywhere where there is the sun.
Some solar chargers are strong enough to power your laptop or notebook, while others work for smaller devices such as cellular phones, cameras, iPods, MP-3 players, flashlights, radios, palm computers, etc. In order to ensure you get the correct charger to run your equipment, you will need to get a charger with the correct wattage (electrical supply). Please see Watts? How Many Watts Does My Device Need to Supply? for more information and guidance on how to determine the wattage you need.
A solar battery charger allows you to charge batteries during the day, and then use them to power your equipment, during the night. These, as well as other portable solar equipment, have become a solution for hikers, campers, photographers, emergency workers, mountaineers, backpackers, cyclists, horseback riders, and anyone who will be away from the power outlets when they need to run or charge their electronic devices. Like other similar equipment, they can be used to run or charge laptops, cameras, cell phones, batteries, lights, MP3 players, GPS devices, and other electronic equipment. The advantage with a solar battery charger is that it can help you create and store power for later use. One can charge batteries in the sun during the day, and use the stored electricity at night, indoors, or in bad weather.
Portable solar chargers also form a vital part of any home or car emergency survival kit. Emergency solar power might help save a life, in a case of an accident, injury, natural catastrophe, or any other emergency where you could be cut off from the power grids but have an urgent need for electricity. These chargers can form a part of wilderness survival kits, emergency kits, and even natural disaster survival kits.
Solar-powered devices are also, of course, eco-friendly. They create electricity with what is known as “green energy,” or “clean energy.” In other words, electricity which is produced without harm being done to the environment and without creating any polluting byproducts.