Use Solar Energy: Save Money, Save The Environment And Save Fossil Fuels
For a long time now, one of the biggest issues raised by environmentalists is the excessive use of non-renewable resources. Some resources are limited, and some which are unlimited. Using up the limited resources, like fossil fuel, will end up emptying them. Instead, humanity should utilize renewable resources, which will never go empty even after repeated usage. One such renewable resource is; solar energy. It is safe to use; there are no harmful emissions, and there is no limit to this energy available to humans. These days, solar power is used for residential purposes, industrial purposes, and for fulfilling society’s various energy requirements. Lets’ find out what makes this energy better than anything.
About solar energy
Sun gives sunlight, which is mostly used by people for its warmth and light. But the solar rays reaching the earth are capable of much more than that. The sun rays are a source of energy that can be harnessed and used for generating power, which in turn can run appliances and machines. The main principle behind the production of solar energy from sunlight is; photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect represents a chemical and physical process. In this, solar rays, which consist of photons, generate electric current and voltage in semiconductors. This electric current has then used a source of electricity that can run appliances.
Working on solar energy systems
As mentioned above, this sunlight is converted into solar power by the photovoltaic effect. But, to induce this effect, there are certain things required. These things together create a solar energy system that effectively produces electricity. The components are:
- Solar panels: these panels capture the sunlight and convert it into electric current.
- Inverter: the inverter will convert the electric current into a usable form.
- Batteries: batteries will store the electricity generated by the solar panels.
- Charge controller: the charge controller will limit the amount of energy entering the battery.
- Racking: racking will create the foundation on which the solar panels will be set up.
All these components are connected to create an entire energy system, which will generate electricity effectively. All solar energy systems work on the same principle, which somehow consists of the same components. The steps that take place in these components are:
- Absorption: the solar panels have photovoltaic cells in them, which absorb the sunlight.
- Generation: the photons in the sunlight then activate the cells and release the atoms’ electrons, which produces current electricity.
- Conversion: The direct current produced is converted into an alternate current source using the inverter.
- Distribution: lastly, the converted AC form of electricity is distributed to various appliances wherever needed.
Applications of solar energy
Solar energy is a versatile form of energy. Not only is it renewable and green, but it is also more cost-effective when one thinks on a long term basis. In the current century, people are turning towards a cleaner energy source, and for that, solar power is gaining a lot of popularity. Some of the common forms of applications of this energy in day to day life are discussed below.
The application that is regarded as the most widely uses is the electricity generated from solar energy. Today solar panels are installed on rooftops of various commercial and residential buildings to fulfill the electricity requirement. Not only this, solar farms are set up in many parts of the globe to light up big and small cities.
Solar heating systems
Many heating systems are getting paired with solar panels to keep the homes and spaces heated these days. These heating systems work by heating the radiant home floors. Or they get paired up with the FHA systems (forced hot air systems) to keep larger spaces heated up during the colder climates.
Solar water heating
Keeping the water heated throughout the year can lead to huge consumption of energy bills. But, using the solar energy water heating principle will not only help in saving the environment but will also reduce bills. In this, solar-heated tanks are used to heat the water distributed throughout the home. These heating systems can also be used to heat the pools at home.
Solar lighting systems
These days, many people and even governments are using solar lighting systems to light up the streets and public places. These days, the lighting system is easily available at cheaper prices, used as garden lights, street lights, and even hoarding and advertisement boards. These lights reduce the overall energy bills significantly.
Solar ventilation systems
Many homes cannot afford a fully solar-powered HVAC. Having only parts of the house conditioned and others not getting conditioned can increase the energy bills heavily. Therefore, to make the inner climate uniform and easier to cool or heat, solar energy ventilation systems can be used. The solar-powered attic fans can help in ventilating the house effectively.
Solar portable charging systems
Solar charging systems are highly effective when it comes to keeping the phones and tablets charged at all times. These systems are powered by solar cells and store solar power in them, which can later charge various devices. These portable systems are small, and thus, can be carried in one’s bag while traveling.
Advantages of solar energy
Solar-powered systems these days can run many things, which is why they are becoming quite pervasive with time. Also, governments are encouraging the general public to make use of solar-powered appliances in daily life. Some of the main advantages of using solar-powered systems are:
- Protect the environment: solar energy is a cleaner source of energy and thus has no carbon emissions. Thus help in keeping the environment clean and reduce pollution.
- Energy independence: fossil fuels keep a country dependant on other countries for getting fuel to run various industries. Solar power can help reach energy independence for a country.
- Reduced bills: the solar-powered systems installed at home reduce the usage of electricity from utility lines. Therefore, it will reduce the overall bills paid by a household in energy billing.
- Better control: the cost of electricity and utility is rising rapidly due to non-renewable resources. But, using solar energy means one will be safeguarded from rising costs.
- Compensation: many countries provide benefits and compensations to those households who install solar power systems at their place.
- Long life: one of the best things about solar panels is that one’s installed, these panels can have a longer life of up to 20-30 years easily.
- Increases value: lastly, solar-powered appliances, and systems installed in a home tend to increase its overall value in the market.
Disadvantages of solar energy
Every idea and technology do have their own set of setbacks, which, too, need to be taken into consideration. Solar energy has some drawbacks, like:
- Roofing: now, when it comes to solar-powered systems, the first thing should be installed in solar panels. But, the problem is that not all type of roofs is compatible with solar panels.
- Low consumption: sometimes, installing solar panels is the most legit reason to lower the utility bills. But, if one’s household energy bills are already low, then one may not save much.
- Not movable: for those who tend to move from one place to another pretty often, solar panels may not be the best choice.
- Costly: for those people who cannot get proper financing on solar panels, they may have to pay a lot more. Usually, this upfront cost can be quite big and heavier on pockets.
- Solar panel suppliers: another drawback of buying solar panels is finding a trustworthy seller. Having the best solar panels can still be a problem in many parts of the country.
Things to consider
If one plans to use solar energy run appliances or is planning to install solar panels at rooftops. Then there are several things to keep in mind. These things will make sure that one gets the best panels installed at a safe and effective price.
- Energy use: always keep in mind the entire household’s overall energy usage before getting solar panels.
- The technology used: check what type of technology is used in the solar panels, not compromise efficiency.
- Position: check on which side of the roof the panels should be installed for maximum effectiveness and sunlight harvesting.
- Financial help: always make sure if the state one has benefits for solar panel usage, to cut on some costs.
- Installer: lastly, make sure that the solar panels’ installer is experienced and licensed to get good service.
Cleaner energy and a sustainable lifestyle should be the motto in today’s age. One of the best ways to accept such a lifestyle is by inculcating solar energy into daily life. That is why from daily life to commercial purposes, solar-powered devices and appliances are making a huge splash. Not only is solar power safe and in abundance, but it is also cost-effective is used right.