Last Updated on April 29, 2022 by Larious
The Sun is the source of life, and life as we know it would certainly not be possible without it. But if we used a little more professional terminology, we would describe the Sun as gaseous magma, i.e., a star. And its center is a nucleus, something like a giant thermonuclear reactor.
Millions of tons of hydrogen have been turning into millions of tons of helium every second in the nucleus. One of the results of this process is the radiation emitted into space. That energy is spreading in all directions, even to the Earth.
The Earth gets only a fraction of that radiation. Still, it’s so large that every square meter of the surface gets about kW per hour (on a sunny day). So, about 288 kW of power ‘falls’ on the roof of 50 m2 in six hours of a summer day. That’s roughly ten times more power than the average household needs for an entire day. Of course, that amount decreases during cloudy days and winter, but you get the point.
The Sun provides us with more than enough energy for most of our modern needs. Yet, we still don’t fully understand how it works. You can turn to popular blogs like http://www.solargraf.com/blog that talk about solar energy. You’d be amazed by all those benefits and interesting facts.
Science geeks would say that Sun is not an unlimited energy resource. It will vanish in a couple of million years. We won’t go that far. So let’s stay at that it’s a renewable and free resource, not limited to large scales; even rural communities can utilize the Sun to power lighting and heating.
Sun energy is a renewable resource that produces no air pollution, water pollution, or greenhouse gases. It’s available for both residential and commercial purposes so that everyone can benefit from it. Furthermore, its use on public land helps limit impacts while providing clean energy.
The first of the many environmental benefits of solar energy is that it produces no carbon dioxide emissions. Solar energy emits less CO2 than natural gas and coal compared to fossil fuels. So it’s the clear winner.
Solar manufacturers are increasingly using greener techniques and modern practices to improve this concept. Also, they strive to reduce the number of resources used in the manufacturing process, further enhancing the eco-friendliness of solar panels.
While solar energy technologies can benefit the environment by generating electricity from unlimited resources, they could have some adverse impacts. For example, some solar thermal systems utilize hazardous fluids and can contaminate water. For these reasons, U.S. environmental laws govern the use of these materials in solar power plants.
How PV Panels Work
The technology behind solar panels has changed dramatically since the Edmond Becquerel invented the first PV cell in 1839. With a significant drop in cost and new industry innovations, the solar panel market is poised for further growth. Flexible solar cells are one such breakthrough that could revolutionize the industry. If interested in history of PV cells, visit this page.
A solar panel is made of a layer of silicon cells, a glass casing, and various wiring to transfer current. Silicon is a nonmetal material with conductive properties, enabling it to absorb light and transform it into electricity. It’s cheap and efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. Silicone is also relatively safe since it doesn’t emit any toxic or harmful gases.
Most solar systems are tied to the electrical grid. Because grid-tied solar systems produce more energy than a customer needs during peak daylight hours, the excess power goes into the grid to be used elsewhere. This excess is known as ‘net metering,’ which you can sell to the utility company for credit. And you can use that credits to draw from the grid on cloudy days or nights.
High Initial Investments
In the early days of solar technology, solar panels were costly and could cost up to several thousand per watt. Besides, the first solar panels were on satellites, so it was not feasible to use them for homes. But as the technology evolved, the cost decreased, making Sun-powered power the cheapest source of electricity on the planet.
In recent years, this renewable energy has become affordable, but costs are still higher than other energy sources. Also, the installation costs depend on your energy needs, the availability of sunlight, your location and climate, and storage capabilities.
But on the bright side, solar panels are very durable, lasting many years without significant maintenance. Also, they won’t cause a power shortage since they have nothing to do with the public supply network.
Should You Invest in Solar Energy?
You may want to save money on your energy bills in the long run. However, that amount will depend on the energy you use and its rate. For example, if you live in an area with fluctuating rates, you may see a significant drop in your monthly bill when turning to Sun power.
Renewables can be expensive at first, but their cost has decreased in the last few years. Get at least three quotes from different contractors if you consider installing these systems. Some companies even offer rebates to offset installation costs.
Renewable energy is more expensive than nonrenewable energy, but it will decrease. So if you can save money and spare yourself from public grid issues, it’s worth it. Also, Sun-powered systems can change the planet for the better, benefiting the general good, i.e., reducing pollution.