Solar-powered-car-fan-largeConventional retail electricity prices have either held steady or crept up lately, and this alone is enough to make many people take a harder look at , our neighbors to the north are already sourcing over 80% of their energy needs from renewables. Unfortunately there are many obstacles that still remain in the way of American citizens and solar energy independence.

The good news here is that there are plenty of individual gadgets that homeowners can use to harness solar energy, regardless of their home state’s regulatory atmosphere. While Here’s a quick rundown of several more outstanding examples.

Backing Up

Portable solar chargers for phones and other devices have the problem of requiring a stationary spot to soak up the sun. Backpacks, though, receive great exposure as a matter of their normal function. They not only have a nice view of the sun while you’re going about your outdoor stroll, they can supply a bigger PV panel for more power. The stands out among the current crop of solar backpacks due to a PV panel that generates up to 7 watts of power while keeping its weight just under 2 pounds. The panel is also removable if not needed or conditions get too rough.

Brighter Smiles

A little sun can be good for the immune system, but Soladey Inc. of Japan has made it good for your teeth. The Ion5 toothbrush contains in the handle that generate electricity to clean teeth without toothpaste. Just behind the brush head, electric current passes through titanium dioxide insets and creates negatively charged ions. These ions are released during the brushing process and kill the bacteria that produces plaque. Bacteria responsible for bad breath are also reduced along the way. This toothbrush performs the triple function of reducing carbon, reducing plaque, and reducing odors.

Sounding Good

There’s no shortage of solar chargers for smartphones, MP3 players, and other personal communications devices. Here’s something for the other end of this equation. The Helios headset is Bluetooth 4.0 wireless compatible to provide clear audio without the need for standard recharging. The headset features a PV, photovoltaic, panel in the top section of its headband. This location always ensures it’s facing up towards the sun for maximum energizing. If the clouds hang around too long, it also has the option of a microUSB port for conventional recharging of its battery.

Chilling Out

Solar energy is cool, but the Solar Cooler from SolarCool Technologies makes this literally the case. The Solar Cooler uses PV panels on top of the lid to produce electricity that powers the cooler’s refrigeration system, likely thermoelectric, which keeps the internal temperature at 42 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as 24 hours. If necessary, the cooler can bring things down to seven below for a shorter period of time. Under good conditions, it even has power to spare for other tasks. While the 2.2 cubic foot cooler can cost a bit, on long trips away from established power sources and additional bags of ice, it’s indispensable.

Wait No More

Having portable solar devices like these eliminates a lot of the . They’re affordable, capable, and easy to use. Best of all, they give anyone the opportunity to remove at least a little of the carbon footprint they leave from everyday activities. Large-scale clean energy is something all of us should work towards, but items like these provide small day-to-day victories between the big achievements.

Posted in Homestead Planning Tagged solar projects permalink

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