Solar energy is the energy that is harnessed from the sun. People everywhere around the world are becoming more aware of the different advantages of solar energy.
You can make this a DIY project and complete the entire thing yourself but there are a few steps that you are going to need to follow if you want to build a system and take full advantages of solar energy and all it has to offer. These are amazing advantages of solar energy that are important to realize.
Solar power is a proven commercial energy source. Among other renewable resources such as wind, hydro, biomass, biofuel, and geothermal power, solar power the only clean energy that can generate a large market scale including residential users.
Infinite energy source. Depletion of fossil fuels is an unvarying threat to energy security. Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources and its exhaustion is inevitable, which means power supply shortages all over the world. On the other hand, renewable energy like solar, wind, and geothermal power can generate electricity without depleting natural resources. These natural energies are infinite sources of energy. If installed and utilized properly and strategically, renewable energy can supply the whole world with clean electricity.
One of the greatest advantages of solar energy is that it is so cost-effective.
Solar energy is free. Did you know that the earth absorbs 174 pettawatts of solar radiation? This means that we have more than enough source of free energy to power every house in the world. While most of our energy today is still drawn from oil, gas and coal, there is a steady increase of demand for alternative and renewable energy like solar power. The day may not be far off when the use of solar energy becomes pretty normal.
As the general public demand for this technology increases, we can expect further price drops. As you put together your solar energy solutions, the articles on this website will help you put together a list telling you what different supplies you are going to need in order to get started building your solar energy system. Just make sure that you read through the plan carefully and do not miss any steps or supplies because you don’t want to get started only to find out that you are missing something.
While solar energy is free, the device that will convert it to run our appliances is not. To provide solar energy for the home, solar cells called photovoltaic made from semi-conducting materials, are grouped into modules. These solar panels are mounted on rooftops, yards or open spaces where it can capture the maximum amount of sunlight.
Presently, heliostats, photovoltaic cells and plate collectors are being used to collect the energy by focusing these panels towards the sun or constructing and installing the panel’s on spots where the sun shines most. Developments in technology have been racing forward and new ways of harnessing solar energy is becoming even more effective.
The price of photovoltaic cells is steadily decreasing. China’s emergence as one of the biggest manufacturers of solar panels largely affects the cost of end-user materials. The country also produces wind turbines although exports are limited unlike the global production and export of PV panels.
As the demand for solar panels continues to increase in the United States, the increase results to the improvement of solar technology as a whole. The prices of photovoltaic cells have declined on the average of 4% every year over the past 15 years. While the prices of photovoltaic cells are in constant decline, the cost of installation of large scale solar solutions is still substantially high compared to the current electric cost.
Today, a polymer foil, thin as a sheet of paper and lighter by 200 times when compared to the regular glass collecting plates, are available. Chances are, these new inventions and discoveries could very well have a great potential for mass production. Previously, the glass-based materials used for heat collection need expensive substrates and require additional support for mounting due to its weight. The polymer foil, being more flexible than the rigid solar cells and very light weight makes it possible to now attach to the walls of a structure, curved or irregular surfaces.
Beyond the development of this polymer foil technology there is the plastic solar cell, based on nano technology gaining breakthroughs. This plastic material can collect the power of the sun even on a cloudy day through harnessing the infrared rays is believed to be five times more efficient than the current technology.
Solar panels can be installed on most rooftops, eliminating the problem of finding a suitable place for installation. Solar panels require little or no maintenance. The original photovoltaic cells technology is used for most satellites orbiting our earth today which are not maintained at all. Many solar panel manufacturers give 25 to 40 years warranty on their products. Because most areas of the country receive a substantial amount of sunlight throughout the year, solar panels can be installed anywhere. In areas with heavy pollution problem, solar energy may not work as fine. Weather can also affect the efficiency of solar energy. If it is raining, overcast weather or if there is a hurricane, the solar panels’ efficiency is decreased. You are only producing energy during day time.
Whenever possible, the panels will be installed facing south to get the most out of the sunlight but tracking systems are also used to follow the direction of the sun. The solar panels collect the energy from the sunlight. The process basically is that when the panels are exposed to sunlight, the electrons are separated form the atoms. This movement of the electrons creates electricity.
Solar power systems are dependable and require little or no maintenance. The ideal set-up requires it to have optimum sunlight exposure during the day, and if this is achieved, then expect consistent energy generation on ideal weather conditions. However, proper operating and maintenance must be done periodically to ensure optimum collection of sunlight.
Photovoltaic (PV) cells that are used in solar power systems are capable of providing electricity for a very long time and if installed properly and strategically, are virtually maintenance free.. Originally developed for space use, PV cells require little or no maintenance. The proof is, most satellites orbiting earth use PV cells that are in harsh environment, not maintained but are still working properly. The manufacturers of solar panels can give as much as 25-years warranty.
Basic maintenance of solar panels includes keeping the solar panel array clean and free of debris. Washing the PV panels is also recommended especially if you live in a particularly dusty region. Use non-abrasive cleaners and wash cloth to avoid scratching the panels. A garden hose can be used to rinse the panels.
There are also health advantages of solar energy that are important to be aware of.
Solar energy is clean, renewable and sustainable. Because the energy created from the sun’s rays does not produce byproducts like those from fossil fuel power plants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury or carbon dioxide), it does not contribute to pollution. Accordingly, the increase in the use of solar energy and other alternative forms of energy will decrease the demand for greenhouse gases-producing power plants. Solar energy improves air quality because fumes from kerosene lamps and other fuel sources are being used less.
If you want to get the advantages of solar energy with a solar energy system, you will want to make sure that you use high quality materials.There are some people who are still on the fence about whether or not to make the change. Particularly you will not have to worry about maintenance. Solar energy really makes life better overall, because you save money, help the environment, and create less hassle for yourself.
When things run smoothly, we enjoy a comfortable and convenient life. But if something happens to disrupt that grid, then what we depended on will come crashing down. When you depend on anything else but your own resources, you can’t count on it always being there for you. That’s why you always need to find a way to live off the grid.
Download the FREE ebook,
“A Guide to Going Off the Grid“.