Many of us have experienced the frustration of having a cell phone or MP3 player go dead and being away from a power outlet to charge the batteries. Many others would simply like to reduce their dependence on the electricity grid. Thanks to technology improvements and lower production costs for photovoltaic (PV) cells, you can now harness sunlight at home or on the road to power a variety of products while reducing your environmental impact.
PV cells generate varying amounts of electricity based on their size and composition, and on the amount of incoming sunlight. Here are just a few examples of products for which sunlight provides a viable and affordable alternative power source:
Solar-powered products are available in garden centers, toy stores, camping and hiking stores, and from online retailers that promote environmentally friendly products, such as Real Goods.* Because solar products vary in their power output, review their specifications before purchasing to ensure they are the best fit for your needs and, in the case of chargers, are compatible with the devices they will be charging.
Written by: Union of Concerned Scientists.
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