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Andrew Newitt posted a blog entry in Andrew Newitt's BlogOnce, the use of solar energy seemed like a distant concept of the future. Nowadays, it has become integrated into every aspect of the modern life. While eco-consciousness is expanding, the prices of solar panels are dropping, making this source of sustainable and renewable energy available to everyone. Furthermore, owing to technological advances, there are numerous innovative ways to use solar energy today. Image source: iphoneness.com Solar on the go: wearable electronics Numerous gadgets and electronic devices have become an integral part of the modern life. No one can deny the fact that they facilitate our everyday lives significantly. However, such a reliance on tech devices leads to increased power use worldwide. Fortunately, solar energy can greatly alleviate the pressure put on the environment’s finite resources. Nowadays, an increasing number of devices and gadgets are becoming solar-powered owing to innovative tech features. Solar-powered charges are easy to use, safe for the environment and versatile. Some charges can power various electronic devices, from smartphones and tablets to e-readers. Other devices are also becoming solar-powered, including smart watches, rechargeable flashlights, music speakers, etc. The warmth of the sun Owing to their eco-friendliness and profitability, solar water and space heaters are being increasingly implemented in modern homes. These solar-powered devices are generally affordable and definitely energy-saving. Solar space and water heaters harness natural light and use liquid or air to transfer it into thermal energy. Depending on whether they use natural circulation or pumps, there are passive and active solar heaters. Furthermore, a solar-based thermal energy can be used to heat up pools at a substantially lower price than regular heaters. This technology truly pays off in the long run by reducing a household’s energy use, bringing from five to ten percent return on investment. Image source: choice.com.au Solar on the roof Rooftop solar panels are still one of the most significant and effective upgrades when it comes to green technology. Energy generated by solar panels can be used to power an entire household, leaving homeowners with numerous benefits, including reduced energy use and decreased carbon footprint. In addition, innovative SMA inverters for solar panels have become an essential component, enabling homeowners to monitor and manage their systems and analyze data. Although the initial costs of installing solar panels may be a bit higher, this green upgrade is a long-term investment that can completely eliminate owners’ dependence on the grid. Solar lighting for a true shine As one of the most common uses of solar energy, solar lighting has become a standard in numerous homes. Both interior and exterior lighting can be solar-powered, with outdoor lights being extremely easy to use. Wireless exterior solar lights can be simply placed outdoors because they don’t require any installation. After harnessing sunlight throughout the days, exterior lights can shine through the night. When it comes to interior lighting, it can be connected to solar-powered systems and batteries that generate electricity during the night. Image source: elitesolarsystems.com Solar-based ventilation Ventilation systems and units are a major power consumer, both in residential and commercial buildings. They are used to maintain a pleasant temperature, reduce humidity and eliminate odours. Consequently, they require a substantial amount of energy, which affects both homeowners and the environment. Solar-powered fans, on the other hand, harness sunlight and are easy to install and maintain. Not only do they have a positive impact on the environment, but they are also a cost-effective alternative that can keep any home comfortable. Solar-powered transportation Considering the fact that transportation around the world leads to enormous greenhouse gas emissions, the use of solar energy can truly make a difference in this aspect. While the potential of this technology is still not completely utilised, it’s becoming more and more implemented around the world. Solar cars are one of the most common technologies, especially in Australia, while solar buses are working their magic in China. Recently, even a solar-powered aircraft, called Solar Impulse 2, traveled around the world and across the Pacific. It’s only a matter of time when solar-powered transportation will find a wider application on a global scale. Solar energy is a suitable and renewable source that offers numerous benefits for the modern society, its members, and the environment.