Where does solar energy come from? The answer to that question is simple. It comes from the radiation of the sun. There’s little doubt how powerful of energy source the sun is. After all, just one hour of the sun’s energy could actually meet the world’s energy needs for a year. Currently, only 0.001 percent of the sun’s energy is being harnessed.
Of course, like anything else, there are pros and cons to using solar energy.
What Are The Positive Aspects?
Renewable Energy Source
When it comes to renewable energy sources, the sun’s energy is plentiful. This energy is accessible as long as there is sun, which is set to be around for another five billion years. There’s no chance of running out of solar energy unlike other kinds of energy sources. Best of all, every place around the world can use this type of energy, if they harness it correctly.
Decrease or Eliminate The Electric Bills
With solar energy, you’ll meet many of your energy needs yourself. This means you can save money on your electric bills. The amount of money you save is going to depend on how big your solar system is and what your heat and electricity usage is.
On top of that, you could actually produce a lot more energy than you need, which could be exported onto the grid and given to you in the form of bonus payments. You can also sell the extra energy at high rates for the day and buy it from the grid when rates are lower in the evening.
Assortment of Applications
There are all kinds of reasons you can use solar energy. You can produce photovoltaics or solar thermal. It can be used to generate electricity in areas that don’t have access to the grid, don’t have an unlimited supply of clean water and can’t power space satellites. This energy can be combined with building materials. Think Sharp. Sharp recently presented the market with transparent solar energy windows.
Maintenance Cost Are Low
There’s not much maintenance that needs to be done on solar energy systems. You just need to ensure they stay clean. You can do this as often as you like or at least two times a year. The majority of trustworthy solar panel manufacturers provide a warranty of up to 25 years. Since solar panels offer no moving parts, you don’t have to contend with wear and tear.
The only part that will need to be changed every five to 10 years is the inverter, as it works all the time to convert the solar energy into solar thermal (heat) and solar PV (electricity). The initial money you spend on your solar system is saved on the very little repair work that needs to be done.
The solar panel industry is always looking for ways to boost and improve technology. The innovations in nanotechnology and quantum physics can significantly raise solar panels’ effectiveness… doubling, perhaps even tripling, the electrical output the systems provide.
What Are The Negative Aspects?
When it comes to buying a solar system, the initial cost is going to be extremely high. While some governments have offered up plans to offset costs to encourage folks to use renewable energy sources, you still need to pay for them upfront. You’ll be paying for the solar panels, batteries, inverter, wiring and installation. Due to constantly development, however, it’s relatively safe to think the prices will eventually drop.
Dependent Upon Weather
While solar energy is still collectable during rainy and cloudy day, the system’s efficiency will drop. Solar panels needs sunlight to effectively collect solar energy. If there are several days of no sun – rainy and cloudy – you’ll notice the difference. Don’t forget that no solar energy is collected at night.
High Costs To Store Solar Energy
You either need to use the solar energy immediately or store it in large batteries. These batteries, which are often used for off-the-grid solar systems, are charged throughout the day so it can be utilized at night. This is great for when solar energy is used all day but also expensive. It’s usually best to use the solar energy during the daytime hours and use energy from the grid in the evening hours… provided the system has been hooked up to the grid. Most energy demand is highest in the day, allowing people to meet a majority of it with the solar energy system.
Takes Up A Copious Amount Of Space
If you’re looking to produce an excessive amount of energy, you’ll need a lot of solar panels. That’s because you’ll want to collect as much of the sun radiation as you can. Solar panels demand space, and there are some roofs that just don’t have the space required. An alternative to this issue is to install them in the yard but you’ll need to make sure the sun will hit them. Even if you don’t have the space for the number of panels you’d like, a small amount will suffice in meeting most of your energy needs.
You wouldn’t think that pollution would be associated with solar panels, but it is. The only difference is that it’s much less than other energy sources. How so? You still have to contend with transportation of the system along with its installation, which lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. In the manufacturing process of the solar photovoltaics, there’s hazardous products and toxic materials being used. Remember though, the amount of pollution this system gives off is much, much less than other alternative energy sources.