6 Cool Solar Panel Alternatives For Your Home

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Are you planning on going green? Does the idea of using solar energy sound appealing to you? If you’re thinking about having a source of solar energy in your house but don’t have enough space or money for solar panels, or you just don’t want those huge ugly things on your roof, worry not!

There are always solar panel alternatives for your home available out there.

solar panel alternatives

Fortunately, a lot of different ways are available to get solar energy, and we will discuss these solar panel alternatives below.

Best Solar Panel Alternatives for Your Home

Solar energy is most popular amongst residential areas. Solar panels collect energy from the sun and convert it into electrical energy, which is then used by people. However, solar panels aren’t the only options for you.

You can have different appliances in your house that are solar-powered without using solar panels. Below is a list of solar panel alternatives for your home that you may or may not have heard of before.


Solar Lights

Do you want to save energy and cut down on your electricity bills without fussing about solar panels? Good news! Solar lights are an excellent solar panel alternative for your home. They will not only light up your house at night but also help you save energy and your money.

These solar lights have photovoltaic cells on top of them, which absorb light from the sun to generate electrical energy. They charge throughout the day, and as soon as darkness spreads, the photo-receptors in them detect it and turn on the light. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

These are usually shaped like a lantern, which you can hang outside throughout the day for it to charge. If you want to use it indoors, just bring the lights inside as soon as it’s dark – easy, environmentally-friendly, free of cost lights for your entire house.


Sun Tunnel

What if you need lights at day time as well but without using electricity from the grid? A sun tunnel is a cost-effective way to bring light into the darker areas of your house. You won’t have to turn on electrical lights, neither would you have to wait for solar lamps to charge!

A sun tunnel is essentially a tunnel, from the top of your roof to the ceiling inside. It brings light from the sun either through a rigid tunnel or a flexible tunnel, inside your house, providing a beautiful glow.

But isn’t this the same thing as using a window or SkyLight as a source of natural light? Technically, no. A sun tunnel is used for parts of your house that don’t get enough natural light through windows. They are also useful for situations when you need extra light to do a certain task.

You can install them anywhere in the house, as long as you have a roof. Not only are they easy to install and affordable, but they also provide extra electricity-free lights inside your house! The drawback, of course, is that this is not useful for night time.


Solar Shingles

Solar what? You may not have heard of solar shingles, but they are an innovative form of solar panel alternatives for your home. If you don’t want your rooftop to become an eyesore because of huge solar panels, then this is a good option for you.

solar shingles

This stuff works exactly like a solar panel. However, they’re just smaller and prettier. Sized and shaped exactly like a roof tile, solar shingles are a good way to have solar energy and also an attractive, grey-colored rooftop.

The only drawback is that they’re more costly than solar panels. But if you’re ready to pay the price, you can have a good source of renewable energy without having to ruin the look of your house.


Solar Ovens

Do you bake often? If you do, you’d know that your electric oven adds a lot to your electricity bills. For this reason, it is a smart idea to buy a solar oven that uses heat from the sun to cook your food. And yes, it cooks it just as well as your standard oven!

solar ovens

These ovens are available in different sizes and types and are easy to set up and use. The only thing you need is the sun, and that’s it. They’re cost-effective and practical, providing your food with heat up to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit-given that you buy the right solar oven!

Solar ovens are also good for camping trips, as they are portable and lightweight. There are also many solar grills available for barbecuing as well.


Solar Air Conditioning

Do you live in a hot climate where you have to rely on air conditioners for almost half of the year, or more? If your answer is yes, then investing in solar-powered air conditioners will be a smart idea. It will help you save on electricity bills by the end of the year and also save energy.

air conditioning solar panels

These air conditioners use solar panels to gather enough solar energy to run for several hours at a time. There are different types available, for example, hybrid systems and evaporative chillers.

Be sure to research well about this method of air conditioning. If you don’t use ACs a lot, this may not be a cost-effective option for you. But if your bills are high because of using ACs excessively, then this is a good alternative. You can even use these ACs if the power is out.


Solar Water Heater

Do you use hot water a lot in your home? Since heating water costs quite a bit, investing in a solar-powered water heater will greatly benefit you. It’s not expensive, heats water effectively as long as there’s sunlight, and is environmentally-friendly.

Solar water heater

This type of heater uses the sun’s radiation and converts it into heat energy with the help of a solar collector. This heats the water, which is stored in a storage tank, and from here, the water is pumped into water lines.

All the components are well insulated for maximum heat retention, making this an effective and inexpensive way to heat water in your house.


Final Note

If solar panels aren’t a feasible option for you, then try these solar panel alternatives for your home. There are many other ways to consume solar energy, with many different solar-powered appliances available in the market. If you want to go solar, you can opt for something like Arcadia Power that will help you elect for renewable energy credits on your utility bill.

You won’t only save on your bills this way, but also contribute to saving our planet, so go ahead and go green!

  • Kyle Kroeger

    Kyle Kroeger is the founder of Green Coast, a renewable energy and green living community focused on helping others live a better, greener life. Green Coast believes that energy and green living has become far too complex, and has created a number of different guides to build a sustainable foundation. You can follow updates on Facebook and Twitter

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