• Energy & Power

What is PV Solar Power Used For?



Many people are familiar with PV-powered calculators and watches, the most common small-scale applications of PV. However, there are numerous large-scale, cost-effective PV applications, including:

  • Water pumping for small-scale remote irrigation, stock watering, residential uses, remote villages, and marine sump pumps;
  • Lighting for residential needs, billboards, security, highway signs, streets and parking lots, pathways, recreational vehicles, remote villages and schools, and marine navigational buoys;
  • Communications by remote relay stations, emergency radios, orbiting satellites, and cellular telephones;
  • Refrigeration for medical and recreational uses;
  • Corrosion protection for pipelines and docks, petroleum and water wells, and underground tanks;
  • Utility grids that produce utility or commercial-scale electricity; and
  • Household appliances such as ventilation fans, swamp coolers, televisions, blenders, stereos, and other appliances.

The decreasing cost of PV systems and the increasing number of manufacturers and dealers for PV equipment have contributed to widespread use of the technology. In PV’s early days, do-it-yourselfers had to search for companies that manufactured PV modules and often had to adapt or reconfigure components from other non-PV systems. Today, dealers offer ready-to-use systems and state-of-the-art equipment designed specifically for PV systems. Many dealers have computer software that helps to design systems and specify appropriate components. As PV markets expand, dealers are gaining greater experience with PV applications, making it cheaper and easier to purchase PV systems.