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Endesa - Electricity, Gas, People

Solar appliances in your daily life

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Solar calculators entered our homes and offices 20 years ago. We are so used to having them on our tables that we are no longer surprised by this wonderful technology they represent: the sun, the renewable energy source par excellence, powers these appliances cleanly, safely and free of charge, without the need to use cables or replace batteries. This occurs thanks to small solar photovoltaic panels, little larger than the size of a nail: it is the same technology used today on a large scale to produce electricity for the grid.

Solar appliances: solar calculator. During the last two decades more inventions have emerged which, based on the same solar photovoltaic panel technology, provide electricity to small appliances in our daily life. Some can already be seen on a fairly regular basis, while others are still not very common.

There are, for example, solar torches, which are charged when the sun shines by incorporated solar panels and which can then be used during the night.

Another appliance which operates in a similar fashion is solar radio: there are some which, to guarantee that we can continue listening to our favourite programs even when the solar battery has run out, can also be charged using a handle.

There are other systems that operate as chargers of other conventional battery-powered appliances. This is the case of solar chargers for mobiles, laptop batteries, mp3 players, rechargeable batteries or cameras.

In addition to “traditional” solar chargers, garments have also come on the market, such as jackets, bags, rucksacks and even swimwear, which incorporate small photovoltaic panels to charge different appliances. These systems are possible thanks to new advances in research that make it possible to manufacture thin, flexible solar panels like a sheet, as an alternative to the more common silicon solar panels.

It is also possible to use solar heaters to have hot water in remote places: on many occasions they are very simple systems, principally formed from a black heat-absorbing receptacle, which operate using the same principle as solar thermal heaters.

Finally, there are solar cookers which, via a mirror system, concentrate the sun’s rays and heat, thus cooking food without the need to use any type of fuel.

So we have the possibility of using the sun’s energy in our daily life!

However, before acquiring one of these appliances, we have to think whether we really need it since producing them, transporting them and then managing them as waste also consumes energy.

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