What are the different applications of solar energy

Learn about the different applications of solar energy

Solar technology is the application oriented use of the radiance of the sun. There are lots of uses of this renewable form of energy. Architecture was heavily linked with the availability of solar installation since its very inception. There is a specialised field called solar architecture which makes the optimum use of sunlight to orient buildings and living spaces. Some features of this interior design system are low surface area in comparison to total volume, ample use of overhanging in roof area and thermal mass calculations. When these factors are taken care of in a justified manner then local climatic influence can produce a well illuminated living space for most part of the day. Modern architects make use of passive energy application by integrating lighting, ventilation and heating systems through a sophisticated solar powered set-up. Fans, switches and automated pumps are most often used in such designs.

Temperature control and cooling systems

The modern world has seen the evolvement of urban heat island which is a geographical area with a higher temperature and radiance range than the neighbouring places. This primarily happens due to increased pollution and heat waves. Materials like asphalt which are great for solar absorption are used for the construction of such spaces. Another feature of UHI countering effect is white painted roads and lots of greeneries. Solar installation studies are used for converting the urban heat island into a cool zone. Reduced air conditioning costs and increased living comfort are just two of the benefits of solar efficiency.

Optimised productivity in horticulture solar energy is highly sought for improving efficiency and health of plants. There is a science which deals with solar efficient horticulture in which planting cycles are planned, specific row orientations, staggered height formation and optimum mixing of plant species is followed. Construction of fruit walls, tracking mechanisms, drying crops in optimum time and processing chicken manure are other uses of solar energy. Green houses and Grape presses used in vineyards are another use of solar power efficiency.

Solar charged conveyance schemes

Every year the world solar challenge happens which is an annual tribute to the power of the sun. Only solar powered cars can participate in this race and the average car speed of the winner has been improving year on year. Other competitions that are similar are the African and the North American solar challenge. There is ample use of solar channels inside vehicles to cool the air and maintain temperature range. Solar boats are now used in many parts of the world and the first solar flight happened way back in 1974.

Thermal applications of solar power

The best area in which efficiency of solar installation can be demonstrated is thermal energy. Space heating, area cooling and procedural heat emission are all possible through passive use of solar energy. It’s estimated that more than 70% of heated water consumed for domestic usage can be arranged through solar power. China effectively uses solar heating followed by Israel and Cyprus and together all three countries are great example of solar energy usage and application. 90% of Chinese homes have solar lighting and water heating systems in active use.