Solar technology has been a thing since the 7th century B.C. The Greeks and Romans started out by using solar energy to light fires, concentrating the sun’s heat with glass and mirrors. Now we have almost everything, from solar-powered houses to solar-powered cars.
The traditional way of generating electricity is by burning fossil fuels. This poses a danger to the environment because of greenhouse gases emitted. More people are going solar by the day, and the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
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Benefits of Using Solar Panels
1. Reduces electricity bill. You know how hefty energy bills can be. Now, imagine that weight being lifted off your shoulders. Solar panels will do that for you. Installing solar panels in your home or business will eliminate or considerably lower your energy bills.
2. It makes the environment safer to live in. Burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gases are the most common way of generating electricity. Burning fossil fuels pose a danger to the ozone layer because of the emission of greenhouse gases. Solar panels are a better option. The overall emission of greenhouse gases involved in using a solar panel is considerably lesser than the overall emission of greenhouse gases involved in burning fossil fuels.
Solar power systems derive clean energy from the sun. Installing solar panels in your home reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuels. This helps to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel production also uses a lot of water and contributes to water pollution. Alternately, solar panels use little to no water to operate.
3. Low maintenance cost. Solar panels should be considered an investment that would pay off in the short and long run. They are easy to install, and they last for decades. Maintaining them isn’t expensive; all you have to do is keep them relatively clean. You can clean them a couple of times a year. If you feel you can’t do a good job, you could always call specialists to help you.
4. Increases the value of your property. Installing solar panels in your home can increase your property value by up to 3 to 4%. A solar energy system offers an attractive selling point for real estate agents to market your property. Research conducted in the U.S. showed that homeowners who sold properties with solar power systems regain the amount they used to install them. They also receive a premium that will increase the return on their investment.
5. Frees you from centralized grids. Going solar drastically reduces or eliminates your dependency on centralized public or private grids. Having a backup battery with your solar system will make you more independent. You will not only be generating solar energy, but you will also be storing them for use when centralized grids fail.
Is Solar Energy and Solar Panels Renewable?
Energy may be divided into renewable and non-renewable energy in terms of being renewable. Renewable energy is energy gotten from a renewable source that is naturally replenished. These renewable sources can never be depleted.
Solar energy is a major type of renewable energy. When harnessed, the sun’s energy can be used to heat, cool, and generate electricity for homes and businesses. This energy is clean, safe, and pure. Solar power can be converted into thermal or electrical energy.
Using solar energy to generate electricity requires the use of solar panels. A solar panel or a photovoltaic module is an assembly of cells mounted in a framework. Every day, the sun gives us more than enough energy to power everything on earth. Efficiently harnessing this energy is up to us.
Are Solar Panels Expensive?
Generally, solar panels are becoming more affordable every year. Solar power systems should be considered a luxury and an investment that would pay off.
There are three main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and thin-film solar panels. They all have different efficiencies, and the cost differs too. The most efficient of the three is the monocrystalline solar panel, and it is more expensive than the other two.
Applications of Solar Panels
Advances are made in solar energy technologies regularly. Discoveries have enabled a good number of new applications of solar energy. Here are some new and not-so-new applications of solar panels.
1. Power-source for irrigation. Solar power is used in agriculture. Irrigation is essential and solar panels can serve as a power source.
2. Solar-powered roads. These roads can illuminate themselves at night, melt snow and ice, and generate clean, safe energy.
3. Floating solar farms. They are also called floatovoltaics. They are photovoltaic power systems designed to float on the surfaces of water bodies. Floating solar panels show an increase in power production by up to ten percent. This is due to the cooling effect of the water. Solar panels floating on water bodies also help suppress algal bloom and reduce the evaluation loss of water.
4. Solar storage. Typically, electricity goes directly to the energy gross and is stored once generated. When the sun shines now, we can store the electricity generated by solar cells by using batteries. Researchers are developing ways to store this energy at larger scales.
5. Photovoltaic solar noise barriers. These are designed to lower noise levels, shield receivers from noise pollution generated by road traffic, and produce clean energy. Their solar noise barriers have a photovoltaic (P.V.) installation that converts sunlight into electricity.
6. Solar fabrics. These are fabrics embedded with photovoltaic cells which generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. Solar filaments embedded in your shirts or coats can keep you warm.
Solar fabric architecture combines fabric and solar cells to create canopies or other shared places. People can gather beneath them to recharge their phones or other devices.
Going solar has its pros and cons, but we can say that the good outweighs the bad. The sun provides us with way more clean energy in a day than we use. It’s high time the whole world goes solar.