Innovative uses for Residential Solar Power

The following post about different methods for homeowners to take advantage of energy from the sun is written by Alan Parker is a blogger based out of New York, NY who writes about alternative energy, climate change and green technology.

Whether trying to decrease their utility bills or remove themselves from the power grid completely, a growing number of homes are looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency. To accomplish this, more and more homeowners are looking to renewable energy to power their life. To take advantage of this movement, companies large and small have developed new products that are geared toward sustainability. They range from corporations like DOW Chemical, chaired by CEO Andrew Liveris, to companies like Solar-Ivy, a venture founded by a brother and sister team. Here’s a more detailed look at some of the products that have been created:

  1. DOW’s Powerhouse Solar Shingle uses photovoltaic solar panels built just like asphalt shingles, which allow homeowners direct control for the generation of solar electricity. The Powerhouse shingle is installed just like a normal asphalt shingle, and offers the same protection to your roof, so a regular roofing company can install it. Further, it reduces the reliance on traditional forms of energy, as well as lowers maintenance costs. The Powerhouse solar shingle is just one of many green products that DOW has developed in the home renovation industry. CEO Andrew Liveris has long stated DOWs commitment to the convergence of technology, industry, and environmental accountability.
  2. Solar Ivy - Solar Ivy is made of recycled materials and was designed to meet the unique energy needs of homeowners. They are small solar panels created to look like ivy that grows down the side of buildings, and they work by producing electric energy by converting solar radiation (light) via semiconductors, producing direct current electricity. Solar ivy is completely customizable and flexible. In other words, it can be installed in ways that allow it to meet your functional needs and aesthetic preferences. According to the makers of Solar Ivy, the spacing and amount of ivy “leaves” per strand is wholly customizable to architectural and energy needs, and the color of Solar Ivy can be tailored to your home or building’s color and design. Most importantly, the type of photovoltaic energy can be selected to meet your home energy requirements, and the panels on each ivy leaf can be easily traded out to keep up with the advances in solar cells.
  3. Solar water heating- Once a home is powered by solar, it becomes essential to think about the daily needs of your home, and hot water is one such necessity. Solar hot water heaters are one of the most cost-effective ways to turn your individual appliances greener. Green home builders can choose from two types of solar water heating systems: direct and indirect circulation systems. Direct circulation systems are most appropriate for a home located in a warm climate, while indirect systems work best in climates where water has the possibility to freeze. Solar water heaters work to increase a home’s energy efficiency and decrease heating bills. Solar Direct is a great resource that breaks down the different types of water heaters, and it links to different companies that make and install them.

Overall, a growing number of families and homes have a desire for sustainable and environmentally conscious ways to live, and the developments in solar technology, like the ones listed above, are providing very innovative ways to power people’s lives.

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Thanks for this post. I really wish they will develop a Solar Powered Air Conditioning unit.

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