Sun as a mean of energy
There are several different types of means of energy, but one of the most relevant and emerging sources of energy is solar energy. The amount of energy that our sun produces is overwhelming. It continually gives us about 35 thousand times the total amount of energy required by us. There is more energy coming from the sun that we can use on our planet, and its clean, green energy!
What solar energy means is the way of obtaining or producing electricity from the radiations coming from the sun. To use this source of energy, we need to make use of solar panels that will convert this energy into electricity.
The energy coming from the Sun to the Earth for one hour could, hypothetically, meet the global energy needs for one entire year, but nowadays our current best possible abilities only allow us to harness about 0.001 percent of that potential.
Why has the usage of solar energy become a trending topic when talking about renewable energy? While the criticizers raise the point that its installation can be costly and solar energy may not be very efficient, it is now proving that is can be extremely beneficial not only for the environment but also from a financial standpoint.
Due to a rapidly increasing demand, the technology has improved considerably, turning solar energy into a much more efficient source of clean energy.
Some of the most essential and beneficial advantages of Solar Energy include the fact that it can significantly reduce the electricity bills, it is a renewable source, it requires low maintenance costs and has diverse applications.
BASICS OF SOLAR ENERGY BASICS
Simply put, it is the transformation of solar power into thermal/electrical energy.
An example of an early solar energy collection device is the solar oven. A solar oven is a box that collects and absorbs the sunlight. It was first used in the 1800s when a British astronomer used a solar oven to cook food during an expedition to Africa.
Currently, there are many different technologies in use all around the world for collecting and converting solar radiation into useful heat energy for a variety of purposes.
The most popular technologies derived from solar power and its usage are:
- Photovoltaic Systems: the production of electricity directly from sunlight with the use of photovoltaic systems.
- Solar Hot Water: another way of production of energy is by heating water directly by sunlight.
- Solar Electricity: using the sun’s heat to produce electricity is called solar electricity.
- Solar Process Space Heating and Cooling: the industrial and commercial use of the heat of the sun.
SOLAR POWERED HOUSE
A solar-powered house has been and is still one of the most emerging trends in housing electricity production these days. It refers to the homes that have solar panels installed on it, mostly on the rooftop.
There are some advantages and disadvantages of this mean of energy for residential use. If you are considering transforming your house into a solar-powered home, you need to be able to distinguish between the real pros and cons of solar energy and some “solar myths” as well.
Take a look at some of the most basic and essential benefits and disadvantages below:
Improved home value
The market value of a house that has solar panels installed at its rooftop is considerably higher than the market value of a house without it (if you own the system, of course!). Millions of homeowners are interested in having solar panels at home but haven’t taken the time to figure out what it takes to install them.
Even though the installation of solar panels requires a relatively complex and costly process, the undeniable benefits of having solar panels on a home, as shown by the recent studies are that the value of property significantly increases after the installation of solar panels.
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL), each watt of solar adds about $4 to a home’s value in California. A house with solar panels should sell, on average, for about ($4 x 5,000W) $20,000 more in California.
Reduction in electricity bills
One of the most important benefits of having solar panels on your rooftop is pretty straightforward. When you install solar panels at your home, you generate your electricity, and the result is that you become less reliant on your electric utility and can even become completely independent of it which can result in a significant reduction in your monthly electric bill.
A solar panel system typically has a 25-30 year lifespan, which means that you can cut your electricity costs for decades to come by going solar for as long as the house stays in your life.
Control over rising costs
Like stated above, you can have control over the rising costs of the electricity by having your solar panels installed at your home that make you independent of the external electricity utilities.
According to recent studies, the cost of solar has decreased by more than 70% in the past decade, the cost of electricity has risen by about five percent, and this trend is expected to continue.
A more sustainable and eco-friendly home
Another advantage of a solar-powered home that is considered the most admirable and patriotic is the eco-friendly nature of a house that is solar powered. The fact that it benefits our environment has made this technology a relevant field of energy production.
Not ideal for moving people
As it is a common fact that solar requires a significant financial investment upfront, it is crucial to keep in mind that the average solar panel payback takes around seven and a half years.
For the homeowners who may be moving in the coming years, installing new solar panels on the rooftop might feel like an investment that is not worth it from a financial standpoint.
Roof requirements should be met
The solar panels that are installed at a rooftop have their unique needs as they may not fit all types of rooftops. Its installation requires connecting a mounting system to the roof.
Certain roofing materials used in older houses, such as slate or cedar tiles, can be difficult for solar installers to work with, throwing up a roadblock for solar power.
There are also minimum size requirements for the installation of solar panels to be viable.
Good installers may be hard to find
There’s a common association that many homeowners have with solar. For the solar-powered house, the homeowners have to deal a lot like the pushy solar sales reps that pressurize the consumers to sign a 20-year solar contract before they explain the full scope of the offer or the credibility of the solar company. As solar energy is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and there are plenty of companies that are deploying aggressive sales tactics to get their fair share of the market. So it has been proved through surveys and studies that the decision of installation of solar panels is a very stressful and confusing job.