Here at Energy Service Partners, we’re California’s leading solar installation company. Sporting the fastest install times on the market, and partnered with countless other businesses in the industry, we take our job seriously. Countless California home- and business owners have benefitted from our solar energy services. But did you know that we’re only scratching the surface of what you can do with solar power?

Indeed, while solar energy is most commonly associated with the large black solar panels you see on homes and businesses, it can actually be used for so much more. While we don’t plan on selling solar-powered cars or spaceships here any time soon at ESP, it’s still cool to know all of the things that solar can be used for. Not only that, but the more awareness that’s raised about the efficacy of solar power, the more likely it is that we’ll see it implemented more and more in new technology, which could lead us one step at a time to a more sustainable future.

Here are some of the many unique ways that solar energy is harnessed throughout the world:

Solar Electricity for Homes and Businesses

We figured we’d start with this one first, since it’s what solar power is more known for, and it’s the very type of renewable energy that we provide here at Energy Service Partners. We’re talking about the iconic solar panels that you’ve undoubtedly already seen on other pages of our website; the ones that you see all over California homes.

We could write a lot about this type of solar energy, but we’ve already written a whole lot about it. In a nutshell, solar electricity helps homeowners to save money on their energy bills and live off sustainable energy. Under a solar panel system, you pay little-to-nothing on your bill every month, and you can be happy with a system that lasts for 25 years or more. Solar panels create electricity by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic cells. They can run independently when powered by a battery, or they can be connected to the power grid. Either way, they’re a renewable, sustainable, and affordable form of energy.

If you have more questions about traditional solar electricity for homes and businesses, we encourage you to contact us today, or read more of our blog posts where we discuss many aspects of it in greater detail.

Solar Water Heating

Solar energy is most often converted to electricity, but it can also be used in other creative ways. Take water heating, for example. As it turns out, there is technology that can transfer hot sunlight to the water tank. This can be useful for homes and businesses — it’s essentially a water heater, but similar to solar panels, it gets its energy from a renewable source. Also similar to solar panels, solar water heating units come with a sizable upfront expense, with an associated payback period of 5-10 years. For the green-minded homeowner, this can be an attractive investment.

But water heating isn’t limited to just homes. It’s becoming more common to heat up swimming pools with solar power, especially because of how cost-effective it is compared to the alternative. Even a small pool requires a lot of energy to be heated to a reasonable temperature, so if you’re getting all that power from the sun which shines down every day, it’s a no-brainer.

Solar Water Heating

One of the most exciting solar breakthroughs is seeing it implemented on various vehicles. There are already a variety of vehicles that have been able to operate solely on solar power, and countless more that make judicious use of its energy, even if they’re not fully powered by it.

Solar cars haven’t quite reached the point of mainstream adoption, but that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t being thoroughly researched and tested. The most coveted goal among engineers is to create a car that can completely be powered by solar energy, from the car’s internal systems to the actual propulsion system, which would utilize an electric engine. In theory, we’re talking about an electric car that could be fully charged and propelled by the sun. Imagine never having to get gas again in your life!Due to certain limitations, such as how many panels you can reasonably fit onto a vehicle, we’re not quite there yet. Still, the research is continually evolving, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.

But cars aren’t the only vehicle to harness solar power. Did you know that many boats and even planes use the technology too? We’ve already had successful circumnavigational flights that were carried out by solar planes. The Zephyr, for example, was an unmanned aircraft that flew by solar power during the day, and continued throughout the night via batteries that stored solar energy.

Solar Spacecraft

Aside from all that, we’ve been using solar energy on spacefaring vehicles since we started going into space in the first place. The space industry was one of the biggest innovators in solar power. Because a satellite is almost constantly exposed to the rays of the sun, it was a no-brainer to attach large solar “wings” that would keep the computers endlessly powered. In space, there is no day or night — just the constant presence of our parent star, endlessly shining its light our way. We can thank solar power for contributing in monumental achievements that eventually led us to the moon.

Solar Powered Portable Devices

The California Solar Mandate dictates that all new houses built in California henceforth will be equipped with solar energy. It’s possible that you’ve already seen the telltale black solar panels on many houses already. But if you thought solar panels were a common occurrence already, just wait — you might be seeing a lot more bite-sized versions of them soon.

We’re seeing a lot more experimentation with solar-powered personal devices, such as phones, portable chargers, and more. You’ve probably already seen this to a certain extent — watches have been equipped with micro solar panels for ages; even those cheap ones you’d find in a kids’ meal at a fast-food restaurant. So it’s no surprise that companies are looking more into solar power for our personal devices.

We might be a while away from having a smartphone that works day and night from solar charging, but never say never. Presently, you can already buy power bricks that will extend the battery life of your device, and it’s quite possible we’ll see greatly improved versions of this kind of tech in the next decade.

Energy Service Partners – California’s Leading Solar Installer

As proud as we are of our company, we regret to inform you that we do not, in fact, sell sleek solar-powered cars and satellites. We don’t have a solar smartphone that you’ll never have to plug in again, or a secret spaceship that will take us to Mars on the sun’s power… yet. But what we do have is some of the finest solar panels in the industry, along with the fastest install times on the market. At Energy Service Partners, it’s our goal to get solar energy into as many California homes as possible, we’d be happy to help with yours.

Whether you’re a California homeowner or a seller in the solar industry who wants to partner with us, we urge you to contact us today to get started.