Easy Intro to Solar Electricity

My first venture into solar energy was three years ago. I needed to pump water from a creek to a pond and had no access to electricity. I purchased a 120 watt solar panel. I also purchase a solar powered water pump from amazon.

Solar energy works well. And solar panels are far more durable that you might expect. The second year we used our solar panel, we experienced a flood. The solar panel was tipped over and covered in mud when we found it. It had been under water for at least a day. I cleaned it up, let it dry, and plugged the pump back in. It ran like the energizer bunny. I don't worry about durability any more.

Since then, I have purchased and tested many solar products that make life easier.

Portable Solar Chargers
A portable solar charger uses solar energy to supply electricity to devices or charge batteries.

A small solar charger like the Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger absorbs energy with about eight hours in the sun - or can be plugged into a wall outlet for a few hours to store electricity. These solar chargers are fine for charging small electronics like cellphones and PDAs. They do not provide enough charge for larger electronics.

A larger solar charger like the Xantrex XPower Powerpack Solar has a 10 amp-hour battery and a 400 watt inverter. It has two 120-volt AC outlets, one 12-volt DC socket and one USB port. It also comes with an AC charger so you can charge from a standard wall outlet and a DC charger to charge from a vehicle. This is a very handy solar powered product to keep in case of an emergency.

Solar Battery Chargers
You can have an endless supply of batteries when the power goes out as long as you have a battery charger. Amazon.com carries a great solar charger that charges "D" - "C" - "AA" - "AAA" Batteries. Always have fresh batteries.

Solar Powered Motion Sensor with Light
Keep your home safe using solar energy by using a solar powered motion sensor light. You can find solar spotlights that are bright enough to light an outdoor horse arena.

Solar Fence Chargers
Livestock and horse owners often have animals outside the boundaries of electricity. Solar fence chargers enable them to keep their animals safe without having to pay a lot of money to bring electricity to the site.

Solar Roof Shingles
OK Solar offers photovoltaic shingles that look almost like regular shingles, but produce power. For those who simply do not like the look of solar panels, solar shingles could be the answer.

The Future of Solar Power
Advances in solar power are happening every day. The cost of solar energy is coming down and solar collectors are becoming more efficient. In the future, we can expect to see buildings designed to both conserve energy and produce its own energy. Automobile manufacturers are already producing cars that use solar electricity. A company in Buenos Aires called Indarra DTX has been experimenting with solar electric clothes. Scientists in Wales are working on a solar electric paint.

Covalent Solar is a U.S. company working on glass containing dyes that concentrate and deflect solar energy to photovoltaics.

The future of solar power is wide open. The possibilities are limitless. You don't have to plunge into solar energy. You can start small with a solar charger or solar lights and grow with the technology.

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