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Solar Power Used To Supplement Electricity

While keeping their home primarily dependent on the power grid, some homeowners are looking to solar power to reduce some of the costs associated with running the household. Not everything powered by the sun's energy runs on electricity and looking beyond the most common interpretation of solar power, many are finding that the thermal energy provided by the sun can help reduce their energy costs.

Heating a swimming pool, for example can be an expensive proposition, with an electric pump moving the water from the pool through a chamber heated by electric, gas, oil or some other expensive commodity. Some have learned that using solar power greatly reduces their energy costs, regardless of the type of fuel required for the heat. The water still has to be pumped at least one way from or to the pool, but heating the water with solar power cuts off a large chunk of the bill.

Using large black plastic or rubberized containers, water is pumped out of the pool and into the bladder where it remains exposed to the sun until it reaches a designated temperature. At that time it can be returned, by gravity, back to the pool with the water heated by solar power. If the system is thought through before it is installed, the pumps can be designed to work on solar energy as well, providing a heated pool at no operational cost.

Remote Access To Electricity Boost Solar Energy Use

There are some locations to which electric power has not been extended, and in some applications, such as a small hunting or fishing cabins, the use of solar power provide electricity where it would otherwise be unavailable. In some of these areas it is not considered a good investment by the electric company to extend their power lines and the cabin's owner cannot afford to pay for the installation. Using solar power they can enjoy many of the comforts at home without the added cost of an electric bill.

Even campers can use portable devices as a source of solar power, with many of the newer solar cells being designed into flexible panels that can be rolled up and carried in backpacks on camping trips. They can be used to provide use of small appliances as well as for charging cell phones and listening to emergency radio broadcasts. Having the means of providing portable solar power is also widely accepted by the military for power during field operations.