Solar energy is our birthright, the concept is so beautifully simple and once the infrastructure is set up, the power is free and little maintenance is required.
Reg and I love our solar power systems, we have solar power to run the electrical systems in our touring caravan we have shared a large solar hot water system, we share with three of our neighbours, making our home solar system affordable and there is never any shortage of hot water.
We have increased the friendly to the environment aspect of our home as we only have town drinking quality water at one top, the one in our kitchen. All other taps from those in the bathroom, laundry, toilet and the garden run with filtered water from the irrigation water supply. Our energy bill is negligible and we have no water restrictions and never run out of hot water.
I cannot explain solar power scientifically but I will give it a lay person’s attempt.
Objects that appear black, when in a light source, are absorbing all light rays, and that is what we see, no light, no colour, just black. Colour appears, when light rays are split, as through a prism into a rainbow of split colour rays, or partially absorbed and partially reflected by an object and we see that part of the light that is reflected as the colour of the object.
If all light was reflected from the object, it would not show any colour, it would appear white, as light and it would reflect all the heat from the light source and so white is the coldest colour to wear when outside in the sun.
Because light can be a source of heat, as in the sun’s rays, if all the light rays are being absorbed by an object, the object will also be absorbing the heat from those light rays. That is the simple principle behind solar power.
Low temperature solar heat collectors are flat plates generally used to heat swimming pools. These are the simplest of the solar heating systems.
Medium temperature collectors are also usually flat plates used for creating hot water for residential and commercial use and to power the lighting, TV and DVD systems in many caravans.
High temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors and lenses to intensify the light and the heat making the solar power sufficient to provide substantial electrical power, not just hot water heating.
This high temperature, solar power, is, along with duel water systems in every home, is where I believe Australia should be focusing attention. Maybe one day, we will see solar power and enough water, as our birthright.
Today’s gray nomad with a solar powered caravan is setting the standard, showing how a small home can be run, almost independently from fossil fuel generated electricity and many of us are asking, if we can do it in our small homes on wheels, we could all be doing it, in the family size home.
Ryn Shell writes stories of crime, love and Australia.
artist and author
Formerly Kathy Shell of Buninyong Gallery.
The splendour of nature and the Australian bush captured in work of acclaimed artist Ryn (Kathy) Shell.
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