As the world keeps teetering at the edge of a global energy crisis, you can rest assured that your energy bills are not going to go be lower anytime soon, if ever. So what options do you have except keep meeting the rising costs? Why not harness the power of the sun, the most abundant source of energy known to man? You might be rightly thinking that you do not have the budget or the space for investing in a series of solar panels, but that is not the only way to capture and use solar energy. In this article we will focus on four awesome solar hacks that would fit anyone’s budget!
1. Installing tubular skylights
Energy efficient light-bulbs have a significant impact on reducing your energy bills, however nothing can beat free lighting and that is exactly what you can have during the daytime with tubular skylights. The physics is incredibly simple; a refractive light collector is placed on the roof that passes the light to a reflective tube which in turn passes it to a diffuser that lights the entire room! The installation process is really simple for the DIY community, however since the process involves drilling holes into one’s roof, it would be my personal suggestion to leave the installation to the full time professionals!
2. Using thermal storage tubes
A staple of most modern greenhouses, thermal storage tubes are cylinders made of fiberglass that are filled with water. They are usually placed where there is maximum sunlight so that they can absorb and diffuse solar energy during the day and in the nighttime, this energy can be released to heat a section of the room, an entire room or your entire house depending upon the size and the number of your thermal storage tubes!
3. Turn any gadget into a solar hybrid
A quick disclaimer; I said in the introduction that none of the projects or hacks mentioned in this article would require you to install a series of solar panels, something that can be prohibitively expensive, but is imperative if you want to go completely off the grid. However, for this particular suggestion to work, you would need to invest in a solitary solar panel, which is usually affordable for most people. Besides the panel, you would also need to acquire a 12V rechargeable battery and a 12V power inverter. With these, you can turn any gadget in your house into a solar electric hybrid.
4. Installing a Solar Water Heater
You need hot water all year round, but why make your gas company richer during those bright sunny days? A solar water heater is probably one of the most efficient solar powered gadgets in the market. The heater consists of boxes that are covered with a sheet of transparent glass. This glass prevents a part of the sunlight from escaping, which is focused on a black metal tube placed at the center. This tube is filled with water or anti-freeze and it transfers the heat to the water as it is cycled through the solar heater.
I hope I was able to prove to you that you need not have a king’s ransom at your disposal to go solar. Pick any of these suggestions and get started on your project this weekend!