Running Everyday Appliances With Solar Power
With modern technology, using solar power to run your everyday appliances has gotten a lot easier.
Where once the use of solar panels and batteries was reserved for very high net-worth individuals, these products have become a lot more affordable and available to ordinary people.
With the use of an inverter, you can run almost any device you usually run from mains power using solar.
It is just a matter of how long you will be able to, depending on your amount of battery storage.
In this article, we outline the gear you will need to be able to run appliances using solar panels And some appliances that you could run using this method.
What You Will Need
The challenge with solar energy is that the time that you want to access the energy may not be the time when the energy is available. For example, if you want to power a device at night time when the sun is not shining, you will have not solar power available to you.
Thankfully, there are many devices and intermediaries that have been developed that allow you to capture the power with solar panels when the sun is shining and then use that power at the time that you choose.
If you plan to use solar power to power your domestic devices, the main things you will need are not only a solar panel but a battery to store the power that you capture with the solar panel, an inverter, and then some adapters to get the power out of the battery through the ports that your appliances require.
Many solar power devices use this same technology, but on a smaller scale.
For example, the bright solar lights found in gardens use a small panel to convert sunlight into electricity, a small battery to store that electricity during the day, and then some basic circuitry to dictate when that power is released to turn on the light. These outdoor solar lights are examples of 12v solar power.
12v Vs 240v
Most of the domestic appliances that you plug into your power points inside your house are powered via 240-volt alternating current power. This electricity is very strong and very powerful and can kill you if you are exposed to it directly.
There is a range of other devices that can be run on 12 Volt power. Most RVs and caravans and much of the wiring in our vehicles is based on a 12 Volt system. 12 Volt power is very good for low-intensity devices and use cases, but not good for powering high-current devices.
You can purchase a device called an inverter which will convert your 12 Volt electricity to 240 Volt electricity. There are different types of inverters including modified sine wave inverters and pure sine wave inverters. In most cases, you will want a pure sine wave inverter and you will need to buy one with enough capacity to power the devices that you would like to power with your battery.
Do some research on your devices and how much power they draw, and make sure you buy an inverter that is capable enough to power them.
When it comes to battery storage, you can buy a wide variety of different batteries that are designed to store the solar power that you catch so that you can use it at a time of your choosing.
There are different battery types you can purchase based on different battery chemistry. Most of the starter motor batteries that we have in our vehicles are comprised of lead-acid chemistry.
This is really good for starter motors as it gives you a lot of energy in a short space of time but may not be the best for powering devices and charging for a longer period of time.
An alternative to lead acid chemistry is AGM batteries, which are based on lead acid technology but use a different design to give you a steady source of power for a longer period of time.
The main downside of any lead acid battery, even AGM batteries, is that they tend to be quite heavy. But they are the cheapest and they are very reliable.
An increasingly popular modern type of battery is a lithium phosphate battery. These are lighter and they also can be utilized to a greater extent than a lead acid battery.
With a lead-acid battery, you are not supposed to drain the battery below 50% if you can avoid it. Whereas with a lithium battery you can drain it down to 0% without any concern.
Putting It All Together
If you like having the ability to fully customize your setup then you can buy your own solar panels and combine them with your own batteries and inverter. But if you would prefer to buy a single unit that does all that for you, then portable power stations and battery boxes may be something you want to consider.
A portable power station is an all-in-one unit that includes a battery as well as the ports needed to extract the power from the battery to power your devices.
You carry it with you wherever you go and then plug in your solar panel when you want to top up the amount of electricity. They can be charged via wall socket as well if you want to keep them topped up in that way.
It is very easy to spend a lot of money very quickly when you get involved in solar technology, so make sure you map out your use case, get clear on what you need, and only buy that.
Start with the basics and you can always buy extra things as you go along.
How can the effects of climate change be mitigated?
Climate change will affect us all and it’s important to consider how climate change will have wide reaching consequences for generations to come.
This article investigates how the effects of climate change will affect all of us and what measures we can take to mitigate the effects of climate change.
What is climate change mitigation?
Climate change mitigation refers to actions taken to limit climate change by either reducing greenhouse gas emissions or removing those gases from the atmosphere.
Mitigation actions can include using new technologies and renewable energies, making existing equipment more energy efficient, and ensuring carbon sinks continue to absorb carbon and remain intact.
What are some strategies to mitigate climate change?
Climate change mitigation strategies include retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient; adopting renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and small hydro; helping cities develop more sustainable transport such as bus rapid transit, electric vehicles, and biofuels; and promoting more sustainable uses of land and forests.
Celestial Green Ventures looks at the benefits and drawbacks for some of the solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Retrofitting can help to improve the energy efficiency of homes, reduce fuel bills and create comfortable even temperatures all year round as well as helping to eliminate draughts.
There are plenty of challenges when it comes to retrofitting. Whether it’s the social and income divide, or a lack of funds, policy, trust, and experts to carry out the work, it’s still an uphill struggle to bring retrofitting to the fore, regardless of any climate change commitments.
The main benefit of renewable energy is that renewable energy sources will not run out.
Examples of renewable energy sources are solar power, wind power, bioenergy and hydroelectricity. The most important difference between renewables and fossil fuels, is that renewable energy sources provide an infinite source of energy.
Why invest in renewable energy?
Renewable energy is reliable, as opposed to fossil fuels which are always subject to disputes and wars between countries. Renewable energy is also environmentally friendly as they use natural sources for energy generation and can therefore be considered clean.
Although renewable energy technologies can cause some emissions, overall, they are minimal and certainly lower than generating traditional fossil fuels.
There are also the economic benefits too as renewable technologies can create many jobs. This is especially important in some poorer regions. In fact, this is an emerging job market that can empower people in many parts of the world.
Renewable energy can help reduce turmoil in global energy prices, therefore helping to make the global energy market more stable.
What are some of the challenges related to renewable energy?
Unfortunately, most natural forces are strongly dependent on the weather conditions. Therefore, it is advisable to utilise a mix of sustainable power sources, to maximise the production of power across multiple inputs.
Another challenge regarding renewables is the initial cost and investment required for implementing them is high. The initial cost for renewable energy solutions is disproportionately high and sometimes unaffordable, in comparison with how much energy would be produced.
Celestial Green Ventures PLC is extremely aware that renewable energy requires significant resources to harness nature’s energies but this can present numerous challenges to providing the world with cleaner energy.
Transportation is one of the largest contributors to climate change. By choosing sustainable travel methods, you can significantly help in the mitigation of climate change.
There are many benefits to sustainable transportation. Whether it be the benefits to your health, the Earth, the community or even financial benefits, sustainable travel can be better for them all.
Why is sustainable travel good for the planet?
Sustainable travel emits less pollution. Transportation accounts for nearly 24% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom.
However, about 82% of those emissions come from personal vehicles. Buses and trains only account for a mere 6% of greenhouse gas emissions, making these modes of transportation much greener than cars and vans. Additionally, sustainable travel also promotes good health because it reduces emissions and air pollution.
A further benefit is that as people choose sustainable transportation over driving themselves, leading to a decrease in congestion and lower emissions.
Celestial Green Ventures PLC recognises that the main disadvantage of implementing a sustainable travel infrastructure to any city or town is the initial cost and disruption.
Fuels that have been extracted from plants and crops are known as biofuels. Of these, the most commonly extracted and used one is Bioethanol or simply Ethanol and Biodiesel.
It is blended with gasoline and can be used as an alternative fuel for your car. Plant-based fuels come from renewable sources, can be grown anywhere and have lower carbon emissions as compared to fossil fuels.
Biofuel is made from renewable resources and relatively less-flammable compared to fossil diesel. It has significantly better lubricating properties.
Some things that biofuels are made out of include:
- Waste from crops
- Other farming by-products
- Algae and plants grown specifically for biofuel.
Why are biofuels important in terms of economic security?
Economic security is also an interesting opportunity brought to light due to the increased demand for biofuels. Not every country has large reserves of crude oil.
For these countries that don’t have the natural crude oil resources, importing the oil puts a huge strain on the economy. If more people start shifting towards biofuels, a country can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Some of the disadvantages of using biofuels are that even with all the benefits associated with biofuels, they are quite expensive to produce in the current market. Biofuels also promote the use of fertilisers and consume vast amounts of water to produce the crops.
Growing these crops can also lead to other problems such as monocultures and potential food shortages. With the attractive yield for growing biofuel friendly crops this may sway farmers away from growing other crops we use for day to day food consumption.
What are some land-use strategies for mitigating climate change?
Nature-based solutions are recognised as being able to contribute significantly to the mitigation of climate change.
Land use strategies include sustainable forestry practices, reforestation and avoided deforestation actions.
These actions also help to conserve biodiversity within these areas which is a further positive consequence from implementing these mitigation actions.
What are some policies that will implement change?
The Paris Agreement is an example of policy change to help mitigate climate change and to avoid dangerous climate change.
The agreement sets out the global framework for limiting global warming to well below 2° C and to limit the increase to 1.5° C.
195 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015 agreeing to these targets. The expectation was that keeping to the Paris Agreement, the risks and impact of climate change would be significantly reduced.
Celestial Green Ventures recognises that climate change is the most significant problem facing the world.
Global warming is increasing day by day and it cannot be ignored. If we continue the current trajectory, our world will face undesirable consequences.
Celestial Green Ventures PLC is concerned the expected effects of climate change could seriously compromise the ability of the agriculture sectors to feed the world, and severely undermine progress toward eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
It is now as important as ever to focus on the mitigation of climate change, both individually and collectively.