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What Can Solar Energy Power?

The rooftop solar panel that provides general household electricity is the most iconic form of solar energy. However, there are so many different ways we can use solar power. We’ll explain some of the other things that you might not have previously known could be powered by solar electricity.

Water Heater

Most water heaters utilize some type of fossil fuel. However, with new technology, solar water heaters are becoming more widespread. It works by placing a water heater tank on top of the roof and heating it with the sun’s energy.

There is a multitude of ways this can be accomplished. Some systems directly heat the water by concentrating light with mirrors. Others use what’s called a “working liquid” to heat the water more indirectly.

Water Disinfection

In many countries, safe potable water is not widely available. Solar energy provides three fixes for water disinfection. One is electricity. Photovoltaic panels can generate electricity, which can be used in a process called electrolysis. This disinfects water by creating free radicals that can kill off disinfectants.

The sun also provides heat which can be utilized for disinfection. Boiling water is a common way to disinfect it. With solar panels, water can be quickly heated in short bursts to a boil.

Lastly, ultraviolet light has great disinfecting properties. It can kill viruses and bacteria. All three of these properties can work together to function as part of a solar water disinfection system.

Overall, solar is an established technology that is still growing. There are so many ways we can take advantage of the free energy the sun provides us with. These are just a few examples, but there are surely more to come.

To learn more about a solar installation for your home or business, contact our team at Energy Concepts at (559) 377-7080.


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