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Residential Solar Power System Article:

Solar Power: Energy Independence In An Uncertain World
By Mike Drabble
With the rapid growth of global demand for energy and the increasing lack of stable energy sources around the world, energy independence is becoming one of the most important issues of the early twenty-first century, and not just for governments: homeowners and businesses are coming under pressure from rising bills and are just as keen as legislators to find cheap, reliable and independent sources of energy. Policymakers may debate opening up previously protected oil reserves or building new nuclear power stations, but such solutions are out of reach to everyday consumers, who are concerned only with powering their homes and businesses in a way that doesn’t mean constant and punitive price increases.

Advances in technology mean that solar power is now more able than ever to fill this need. Whereas at one time gloomy days meant scant return from a solar power system, the efficiency of newly available systems combined with the rise of low-tech but high yield approaches means that solar power is able to meet a significant proportion of energy requirements for all but the most power-hungry homes and organisations.

Solar heaters are a perfect example of this. Air can be heated on cold days by the fixing of a heater onto a south-facing wall of a home or business: the sun passes through glass onto a reflective surface inside the heater frame, which has the effect of heating up the air above it. This warm air then moves into the building by convection, with cold air from the building drawn in from underneath the reflective
panel to replace it and the process starting all over again. Simple, effective and easy to build, this is an example of how solar energy is within the reach of all.

Of course, for powering electrical appliances there are conventional solar energy systems that use solar cells as their power source. The increased demand for this technology has seen more efficient solar panels come onto the market and has seen such systems become more competitively priced: coupled with the fact that more national and local governments than ever are providing grants for the adoption of renewable energy, this means that effective and reliable solar power is within the reach of even greater numbers of consumers. It is now even possible for the owners of such small-scale solar systems to sell surplus power back to the grid, providing a small but significant income and allowing them to contribute the national energy supply.

There are also small-scale solar power systems becoming available for leisure use. For those on long trips, trickle chargers are now available so car, caravan, RV and boat batteries can be kept topped up, while extremely lightweight systems are now available that are specifically designed to power laptop computers and similar mobile communications devices. It follows that such technology can also be used by those living in remote areas, allowing them to carry on using electrical appliances in the event of a failure in their normal power supply: a real progression towards energy independence for isolated communities.
With the increasing importance of solar power in the debate on energy independence and the future of the world’s energy supply, it is vital that as many people as possible are well informed about it and about related methods of generating electricity and energy. Visit for more detailed information on this and other forms of conventional and renewable energy and their applications.
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