It’s fast becoming as clear as daylight that using electricity from fossil fuels isn’t such a great idea. It’s been estimated that the earth’s fossil fuels will last about another 30 to 40 years. With the move towards finding more sustainable alternatives, looking to the sun as an energy source seems the natural thing to do.
Mother Nature knows how to harness the sun’s free energy – plants have been doing it forever – and the sun’s cycles and nurturing qualities are also deeply ingrained into our own biology as necessary for survival. Who hasn’t experienced the uplifting warmth of a spot of sunlight on a cold day, or watched the sunrise with a renewed sense of possibility?
The amount of solar energy reaching the earth is 6000 times more than all the energy used worldwide. Plenty to go around. Technology for harnessing the Sun’s light is becoming more readily available than ever before and this is a good thing for the earth, and us, in many ways.
Fossil fuels are unsustainable and coal powered electricity is extremely polluting to our precious environment, especially our air quality. Then there is the controversial topic of the safety of nuclear energy. Compared to these, solar energy is a welcome ray of light that you can access on a personal level to give yourself the option of making greener choices.
Converting light into electricity is a concept that has been known by scientists since the 1800’s already. There are two ways solar energy can be created from the sun’s light. It can either be converted into electrical current in photovoltaic cells, or the sun’s heat can be used to heat up water and the steam used to run power generators.
Silicon crystal were discovered in the 1950’s to be an effective material for creating photovoltaic cells, which were initially used to power U.S Space satellites. These are cells made up of thin wafers of silicone, sealed and covered in glass. When these cells capture light from the sun they produce an electric current. Solar panels are made up of lots of these photovoltaic cells grouped together so they can generate enough power to be useable as an alternative energy source.
These cells have become the method of choice in all sorts of useful gadgets that are being made available to fill the much needed gap for off-the-grid, cleaner energy. These solar panels can vary in size from a few panels on your cute little pocket calculator to huge solar energy plants that can power things on a larger scale.
The great thing about solar powered cells is that after the initial resources and power used to manufacture them, they don’t use fossil fuels or give off toxins or pollution. That sounds like a greener, healthier option for our earth and our bodies.
The modular design of photovoltaic cells means that they can cater for small or large applications by simply adapting the number of cells in a panel.
They are also the perfect solution for use in remote areas where it’s too impractical or expensive to use electricity from the grid. This can mean a handy light or cell phone charger on your next camping trip, a solar panel to power your laptop on holiday, or things as profound as a school child, or small rural business in a remote area, having access to power.
Solar power is also great for using in your garden where there aren’t electrical outlets, or nooks in your home you want to light up every night without having to remember to turn the lights on. Panels that charge lights during the day and turn lights on at night means one less thing to worry about.
Because gadgets that are powered by photovoltaic cells are becoming so readily available, it’s becoming easier to be independent of the grid. Whether it’s because you are wanting to go green, be self-sustainable, or just want the security of not being left at the mercy of an unreliable grid, solar power gives you the empowering option of being able to take care of many of your power needs independently.
After the initial outlay of buying a solar power system or gadget, you can also save a lot on your electricity bill.
SOME NATURAL SOLAR WISDOM
Save on electricity by using skylights and mirrors to bring more of the sun’s light into your home. You can use mirrors by putting them opposite windows to reflect incoming light back into the room. You can also angle mirrors to catch light and reflect it into dark corners.
The sun is a great disinfectant: opening curtains and allowing the suns light into your home you can help keep it germ-free and heathy. Airing your pillows and duvets in the sun once a month is also a great way to keep them disinfected and smelling of fresh, clean sunlight.
The sun has always been with us and has more than enough sun love to share with us as we follow the vision of a cleaner, healthier and happier planet! Take a look at our growing range of delightful and practical solar powered goodies here.