As the population of the world increases along with the depletion of resources like energy, we face the problem of the growing possibility that we soon might face a shortage of energy. With this problem in mind, scientists and researchers came up with the idea to use renewable power sources like the sun and capture its energy through batteri4es known as solar panels.
Here at Unisol, we will discuss everything you need to know about solar energy and why you need to switch to it fast to contribute to the solution. Find out all the details you need through the information provided by experts below:
Solar energy and how it is collected
From the word solar itself, solar energy is usable energy that is produced by the sun. Using specialised panels, this generated energy is collected in the form of electric or thermal energy that you usually use in your household.
There are plenty of ways to capture solar energy and one of these is the PV system or the photovoltaic solar panel system, which converts the heat from the sun into usable electricity.
Aside from electricity, solar energy is also used in thermal applications to heat indoor spaces or fluids and convert them into thermal energy.
If you want to contribute to the cause of saving energy and switching to an environment-friendly, renewable source, then we encourage you to install your solar panels in your home or residence.
By installing solar hot water systems in your house and designing your residence with passive solar heating, you can take advantage of the sun’s energy and save money on your electricity bills. Not only that but you can also take your part in saving the world by switching to a better energy source! If you are interested in benefiting from the sun’s power then allow us to show you how solar panels are installed below.
Solar panels: Installation scales
There are three main scales to consider when installing a solar panel and that is residential, commercial and utility. From the word itself, residential scales are solar panels that are installed on the roof of a residence or house. It can also be farmed in open land to gather 5 to 20 kilowatts per panel.
Meanwhile, commercial-scale solar energy projects are installed on a bigger scale compared to residential ones since it is for commercial use. The ones who use this scale are either businesses or nonprofits. Albeit being larger than residential, commercial scale panels also differ in cost and size depending on the business.
Last on the list of scales is the utility. This solar panel is considered the largest scale since it provides energy to a huge number of customers. Panels used for this scale can collect several megawatts a day.
If you can’t install your solar panel, you can find a solar community that provides solar-sourced energy for a reasonable price. Either way, it is perfect if you simply want to contribute to sustainable energy sourcing.
How do solar panels work?
If you are not familiar with solar modules or solar panels, these are the technology used to gather light and heat energy from the sun converting it into useable electricity. Every solar panel constitutes a layer of silicon cells, glass casing units, metal frames and wirings that allows the electric current to flow from the silicon cells.
The reason why silicon is used in solar panels is that it has a conductive property despite being nonmetal. What this means is that it can both absorb and convert sunlight into usable energy. Once the light hits the silicon cells, the electrons in the silicon would be set in motion by the heat wave which then initiates the electric current captured and flowing through the wirings. This effect is what we know as the photovoltaic effect.
The photovoltaic effect was first discovered in1839 by Edmond Becquerel. It is an effect produced by the quality of semiconductors, which allows them to create an electric current using light waves. Here’s a clearer picture of how it works:
- The silicon cell in a solar panel receives light and reacts to it through the photovoltaic process.
- Once the sun rays interact with the silicon cell, the electrons inside the silicon will move thereby creating an electric current.
- The wiring in the solar panels will capture these electric currents known as direct currents and transfer them to a solar inverter to convert them into usable energy known as alternating current electricity.
How much does solar energy cost?
With the increase in solar efficiency and the need to immediately switch to a better energy source, the price of solar panels has lowered drastically over the years to encourage more people to go solar. In the last decade alone, there has been a noticeable decline in the cost of solar panel installation even falling over as low as 60 per cent of its usual price.
According to industry experts, the prices of solar panels will continue to drop in the upcoming years to fully help the world switch to a sustainable energy source that does little to no damage to the environment.
Moreover, depending on where you live, the incentives and rebates for solar power might continue to reduce the cost of solar energy. In the US, the federal investment tax credit (ITC) is leading the distribution of incentives for people willing to convert to solar energy. This can allow you to reduce 26 per cent of the cost of installing your panels.
Other states and countries like India also offer incentives to encourage more people to use solar power.
Solar energy as a renewable power source
For the longest time, the world has relied on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources as a source of energy. However, this has proven to be dangerous for the environment and poses risks of damaging the ozone layers as well as causing pollution.
To prevent further damaging the earth, scientists and researchers came up with a solution through solar energy. Solar power sources are known as renewable and have a reputation for being inexpensive and clean. What makes it even better is that you can harness this energy anywhere you are in the world. Since the energy for solar comes from the sun, you are presented with an unlimited energy supply.
With all of that said, it is infinitely better compared to non-renewable power sources like fossil fuels which are limited in supply and considered harmful to the environment for the gas that it produces once burned. Additionally, it takes thousands of years for fossil fuels to be produced. Every time it is used as energy, it comes closer to depletion.
Using natural energy sources like wind, hydro and solar power means that you would not face any problems when it comes to depleting energy sources. Sunlight is infinite as well as the wind. Moreover, it does not produce any unnatural or harmful effects.
Reasons why you should switch to solar energy
With the cost of solar panel installations going increasingly lower over the years, there is no reason why you shouldn’t switch to this renewable energy source. However, if you still need a little push in the right direction, then here are some of the reasons why you should have that solar panel installed!
- Solar energy can help reduce the carbon footprint
Solar energy is considered to be one of the most abundant energy sources in the world considering that it has an unlimited supply. What makes it even better is that unlike non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels and gas, solar energy doesn’t leave any greenhouse gas emission that pollutes the air and damages the ozone layer.
- Solar energy can contribute to your health
Remember what we said about those greenhouse gasses? Well, it can be harmful to your body as well. As these gasses enter your lungs, they can leave toxins on your body and cause you to be sick. With solar energy, you can prevent or eradicate the production of these greenhouse gasses and breathe cleaner air.
- Solar energy and electric vehicles
With electric cars being introduced, who’s to say that solar-powered cars are far along? Just imagine a world where you don’t have to rely on gasses or fuel. It would be cheaper for you to travel and the pollution in the air will also decrease. It’s a driver and commuter’s paradise!
- Solar makes you energy independent
By installing solar energy into your household, you can now produce energy on your own that you can use in your everyday life without relying on your local energy providers that might be charging you too high on your electric bills. What’s even better is that you will not experience any shortage!