Solar isn’t anything new. In fact, you’ve been using it in your everyday life, and you probably don’t even think about it. From the vast openness of space to our infrastructure, solar has changed the way we live.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Space-Age Technology

Do you ever wonder how satellites operate in space? On March 17, 1958, the U.S. Navy launched the Vanguard 1, the first artificial satellite in space with PV cells. Since then, many satellites or vessel launched into space have had solar panels, including Hubble Space Telescope.

Those solar-powered satellites also include the thirty-some global positioning system (GPS) satellites in orbit. Some people live by GPS, even if they’ve gone the same route fifty times. For most of us with smartphones, it’s on all the time for use on apps and emergency tracking. Anything that wants access to your location uses GPS to determine that location. And it’s all thanks to solar, which keeps us all going, guiding us better than the North Star.

Do the Numbers

Calculators may be a thing of the past since everyone has them on their phones and computers. However, many people still use them in the classroom, at work, or at home. Most calculators are powered by tiny PV units at the top of the calculator’s face. Put it back in your desk, and it turns off because there is no light. Even the tiniest bit of light can power these devices.

Roadside Assistance

Most traffic control devices are solar-powered. If you notice your environment while driving, you’ll see weathervanes, traffic monitors and messaging signs, radars, and speed cameras are powered with solar panels and battery systems for continual use. They’re often equipped with wifi so that the signs can be monitored and controlled from far away. They can also continue to function when the electricity goes out on the grid, allowing for safety warning despite a blackout. Solar permits our infrastructure to be a more reliable and safe.


Solar power is everywhere, whether or not you know you’re using it or are affected by it. Icon Solar can install a system for you so that it’s barely noticeable. You won’t even recognize that your electricity is coming from a clean energy source.