Going green on your farm often requires a bit of investment, but it's worth it if you want to make some long-term changes. By making an effort to carry out eco-friendly practices, you can both follow your conscience and save your farm a lot of money. As solar technology develops, there are more and more ways you can make use of it on your farm. Anything that is usually powered by electricity or other forms of energy can benefit from harnessing the power of the sun. Farm owners who want to find ways to use solar on their land should take a look at the new technologies and ideas for how solar power could work for them.
Why Use Solar Power on Your Farm?
If you're not yet convinced that solar power is right for your farm, you only need to take a look at a few of the benefits to understand how it could help you. If you're looking for a renewable energy source, solar power is likely to be the more affordable and practical option compared to a number of others, such as wind or hydro. You can use solar power to generate electricity and to heat water, and it can also be used to heat other things. Setting up solar power technology can be a little costly, but it's getting cheaper all the time. You can also make some excellent savings long-term.
Using solar power can be a huge leap forward for your farm if you're trying to be eco-friendly. You can cut down on your use of fossil fuels and reduce waste. With lower energy use from non-renewable sources, you'll save money on your bills. You can also save even more if you learn how to maintain your own solar equipment so that you don't have to pay for everything to be serviced too often.
How Can Solar Power Work for You?
You might be wondering exactly how solar power could help you farm run more efficiently. Apart from saving money, you could make your farm more self-sustainable. Perhaps you're gearing up to go off-grid, and you eventually want to generate all of your own power. It also gives you greater security so you won't be left high and dry if your power ever fails. Solar power can be a great way to use land that you're not getting the most out of too. If you have some underutilized land, you can use it as somewhere to place large numbers of solar panels. Several aspects of your farm business could be improved by solar power. If you have a farm shop or cafe, or perhaps a petting farm, your visitors will be impressed by your eco-friendly use of solar power.
Find Inventive Ways to Place Solar Panels
You can have as few or as many solar panels as you like. Even if you only start with one or two, it can be useful for helping to power your farm and home. However, if you want to have more of them, it's worth thinking about how best to use the space you have available. You might have an empty field that's ready for rows of solar panels. However, many smaller farms won't have sprawling space available to use.
Fortunately, solar panels can be useful in many different positions. They can go on the ground or on rooftops, as well as walls and more. You could consider custom designed car shades as an interesting place to put solar panels. If you need vehicle shades for your own vehicles or those of your visitors, they're ideal for doing several things at once. They can shade cars, harness solar power, and charge electric and hybrid cars at the same time.
Power Your Home
If you live on your farm, you might want to begin by thinking about solar power in your home. It's an easy place to start if you want to start saving money and reducing energy bills. Once you've done that successfully, you could start thinking about bigger projects. You can use solar power for electricity or to heat the water in your home. You can use a battery to store energy for your home, which is useful if you want it for times when your solar panels might not be generating as much. Starting with solar panels for your home will help you learn to look after them, although they don't need much maintenance.
Solar Power Lighting
When you're starting to think about more ways to use solar power on your farm, solar lighting is one of the easiest things to do. There are lots of different types of lighting that you can run on solar power, from security lights for outbuildings to barn lights or floodlights. You could hook several lights up to one power source, but many outdoor lights come with their own solar panels. This is handy because it allows you to position your lights wherever you need them most, without having to worry too much about wiring.
Use Solar Power Sensors
Another way that you might like to use solar power on your farm is by using sensors powered by solar energy. You can place sensors around your farm that collect important data to help you run things more efficiently. Sensors can help you work out optimum growing conditions by measuring sunlight, soil moisture, rain levels and any other important factors. They can also be used in the form of electronic tags for livestock to track them, and they can track their feeding and watering. Solar power makes it much more cost-effective to do this, removing the needs for an expensive mains energy supply.
Power Your Electric Fences
Electric fences are important to keep your livestock in and keep anything or anyone you don't want out. Electric fences often need to run 24/7, so they can use up a lot of energy. Charging your electric fences with the power of the sun helps you to save money and makes a lot of sense. Your electric fences are out in the open, so they're an easy thing to switch to solar power.
If you have any greenhouses on your farm, you can use a lot of energy heating them, as well as keeping the right conditions for whatever you're growing. Many greenhouses use gas or oil heaters to keep the right temperatures. This can be both expensive and bad for the environment. If you want to go green and save some money, solar greenhouses are a good solution. They collect and store energy so that you don't have to rely on traditional heating. Even on cloudy days, the stored energy can keep your greenhouses heated.
Use Solar Irrigation
Irrigation is essential for many farms, but water pumping systems can use a lot of energy. If you want to reduce costs and increase efficiency, solar pump systems could work out for you. They're easier to use for areas when a power line isn't easy to access, and they can run when the sun is hotter, which ensures they water your crops when they most need it. These systems don't need much maintenance, so they don't take up your time, and they're cheap to run too. They also come in various sizes, so you can get a solar pumping system that works for you.
Solar Power Your Vehicle
The various vehicles that you use around and for your farm can benefit from solar power too. You can buy a number of hybrid and electric trucks and SUVs, to begin with. Heavier farming equipment isn't so readily available, but it could be in the future. In fact, things like electric tractors could be in use on farms within the next few years. Diesel produces a lot of pollution, and it's expensive compared to other options. Being able to charge electric farming equipment could help your farm to reduce your carbon footprint, and you could save a lot of money at the same time.
Solar Power Ventilation
Ventilation is essential for many farms, and it's one of the many things that can benefit from being solar powered. Solar power can be used to open and close vents, as well as run exhaust fans. These are fairly simple tasks, but they can make a huge difference when you're making changes to essential, everyday pieces of equipment.
Sell Your Electricity
Are you producing more solar energy than you can handle? If you have a surplus or you're thinking of ways to diversify your income, you might be able to sell your electricity. One option could be to provide charging ports for electric cars or other things. Another possibility is to sell your energy back to the grid, which can get you a discount from your energy company. If you have some land set up with solar-powered equipment, perhaps you could even rent it out to others who could make use of it.
Your farm can benefit from the use of solar power in many different ways. Start small and build up to make the most of this renewable energy source.