Small Solar Powered Products Can Be a Big Help

Improving your home with solar power even in small ways can make a difference when it comes to energy consumption. With the current economic state, we were not comfortable converting our home totally to solar power even with the fact we have had this conversion in the plans for a year in advance. Several factors came into play that made the solar power option not possible at this time. Living in Ohio, we discovered our governor had pulled the solar power tax incentives out of the state budget, which made this project entirely on our nickel. The only help would be from a tax rebate from the federal government, which sure did not make up for this difference.

So, we began searching for different ways to lower our electric use and to purchase solar powered products that would make a difference.

We had completed a 32-ft x 40-ft storage barn on the property in July and began researching how to power this with a minimal use of electricity from the Power Company. Solar lighting came to mind immediately, but the high cost of solar panels, control center and batteries was a stumbling block. We had designed the barn with many windows and the natural lighting worked very well during the day, but once night fell we realized that some form of power would be needed. We began searching the Internet and found solar powered lights that had a solar panel, which could be mounted 20 ft away. These lights have a battery that charges during the day and light up using a motion sensor. This helps to keep the battery use to a minimum.

We mounted these lights on the interior of the building to light the walkways and while they do not produce a strong light source, they are adequate for the purpose intended. Since these motion detector solar lights work well, we purchased 2 more sets and positioned them over the entrance doors of the barn. They have also proven to work well for this purpose as security lights.

The barn is a steel pole barn structure and in the sun, a dark brown roof absorbs a lot of heat, so we found a solar power attic fan from a company in California. We went with a 20-watt model that has a thermal snap switch. Once the temperature reaches over 75 degrees, the switch closes and the fan runs until the temperature drops below 75 or the sun goes down. We have found this solar powered fan keeps the barn at a very comfortable temperature using the free power of the sun.

Installing small solar powered products can make a big difference in the long run and these cost savings do add up over time.

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