Why Solar Power is The Future
With global warming being one of the major threats we face in today’s modern society solar energy is quickly becoming a household name. It provides an alternative energy resource that can potentially save you money while helping to protect the planet. While initially it was heavily criticised for being inefficient or prohibitive, solar power has since proved itself to be highly successful – not just for the environment but for the personal economy as well. The technology has continued to improve over the years and solar battery storage units have been complemented by ever more effective solar panel systems, rendering solar power an even more cost-effective source of clean, free energy. However, what are the main types of solar energy? Which are the best ways to harness solar power?
The first type of solar energy most people think of is the solar energy captured by the sun’s rays. This is known as solar power and is the most readily available form of renewable energy available. Solar power converts light energy from the sun into electricity, using photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells (PV) are semiconductor materials that are used to trap sunlight and convert it into electrical output. The more PV a cell has the higher the electricity it can produce – so the more PV a solar power system has the more power it can produce.
Another popularly-known type of solar energy is heat. This can be used both directly and indirectly, although it is better described as a form of radiation energy rather than a form of renewable energy. It can be used for domestic as well as commercial applications – in fact, there are now small portable heaters available which can be used to heat water and other liquids. These hot air collectors use two main types of collector technologies – thermal and flat-plate collectors. Both have their advantages, but it is the flat plate collector which is increasingly being used because it is the most efficient.
Flat panels are designed to gather sunlight in large, uniform panels. However, they must be mounted on a structure in order to collect sunlight in the right way, which is why these panels tend to be larger than thermal panels. Their larger size means that they need more space to operate correctly, which increases the overall cost of the solar energy system. This means that in many circumstances it may not be possible to build a solar energy system that will meet all of a home’s energy needs.
Thermal collectors are designed to do exactly the opposite – they work to harness the heat energy that is already available within the home. As it turns out, this is an excellent energy source because it is available to us all year round. Even on cold and dark winter days, radiators can easily provide enough warmth to keep your home comfortable, even in the dead of winter. In fact, passive solar energy sources have such high thermal efficiency that they can actually lower your electricity bills by up to 20 per cent! For those who are concerned with the environment, this type of system can also help to significantly reduce the amount of electricity produced by the power plants that use coal or nuclear energy sources.
The final option that we’ll discuss today is thermal energy sources, such as electricity generated through burning wood, coal, natural gas, or petroleum. These types of sources can provide much-needed heat in the winter months, but as you move into the fall and winter months they begin to cut down on your energy bill. In fact, during the summer months, they can actually increase your costs because of the energy that they take to create them. So while they may be a convenient source of energy source, they are definitely not the most cost-effective one.
The most efficient, cleanest, and the cost-effective solar energy source is the sun. The sun provides us with the heat on a daily basis and without having to work very hard for it. In fact, the solar panels that you place on your roof will collect the maximum amount of sunlight during the hours when the sun is the most active. As the month’s pass, the amount of sunlight falling on your panels will decline. However, the sunlight that you do get from the sun will last for years, which means that your investment in solar panels will pay for itself many times over after the initial purchase.