If you have looked at your energy bills recently and found that there is room for improvement, then you can look to the sky for a solution: the sun. Solar power lets you harness the sun’s energy to heat your home. You might be able, in certain cases, to completely disconnect from the main electric grid, or reduce your dependence. It also has low maintenance costs throughout its life span.
Solar panels are a major investment and decision. How do you determine if solar panels are right for you?
What is Solar Energy?
Solar panels can convert sunlight into usable energy. There are two types of solar energy. The first is solar photovoltaic (PV), which converts sunlight into usable energy by using a PV panel that contains a semiconductor material. CSP (concentrating sun power) is a method that concentrates sunlight energy to a heat receiver. This transforms heat energy into heat energy and, in turn, solar thermal energy.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into energy that can be used to power homes, buildings and swimming pools. Photovoltaic cells are the components of a solar panel. These cells convert sunlight’s energy into an electric current that can be used to power your home. Below are the pros and cons.
Solar Energy’s Advantages
1. Diverse applications
Solar energy can be used for both heat and electricity. It is especially useful in places without an accessible power grid. It can also be used to integrate into building supplies, such as a solar panel roof.
2. Renewable energy source
Solar energy can be completely recycled. Modern technology and the creation of solar panels have made it possible to harness the power of the sun and make it available for use around the globe. There is an almost endless supply of energy because the sun is the main source.
This is especially true when you consider that solar energy is a renewable resource and has a positive environmental impact. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses less harmful resources (such fossil fuels and oil).
3. Low maintenance costs
Solar panels can be maintained at a cost of $300 per year once they are installed (even if professional cleaning services are used). Companies that sell solar panels often offer warranties to help reduce costs.
Both individuals and businesses can save money on their electricity bills by using solar panels. Traditional electricity sources can only be used when the sun isn’t shining for a prolonged period or when there are limited hours of sunlight.
4. Lower Electricity Bills
Your energy bills are likely to drop as you will be able to meet some of your energy requirements with the electricity generated by your solar system. The size of your solar system, your heat and electricity usage will determine how much you can save on your monthly bill.
If you have a business that uses commercial solar panels, this switch can be hugely beneficial because it can cover large amounts of your energy bills.
You will also be able to save on your electricity bill. Additionally, you can receive payments for any excess energy you export to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). You can generate more electricity than what you use, provided your solar panel system has an electrical connection to the grid.
5. Technology Development
The technology in the solar power industry continues to advance and improvements are expected to intensify in future. Quantum physics and nanotechnology are two of the many innovations that can increase the efficiency of solar panels. They also have the potential to double or triple the electrical input to solar power systems.
The disadvantages of solar panels
1. High initial cost
Solar panel installation requires a large initial investment. Not everyone can afford it. Even though solar panels are now more affordable than ever, they still have a high price. Another choice rather than you having to buy solar panels is obtaining solar energy from electricity providers in Houston.
This is one of the downsides to solar panels, but prices are falling so there is hope for the future.
Although solar panels are quite expensive right now, new government schemes and the most recent technology make them more affordable.
2. To be at its best, you need to have sunny weather
Only sunlight can generate energy. Without sunlight, energy cannot be produced.
Solar panels are able to generate power even on cloudy days, but it is the UV light that produces the energy. They work best when the sun shines. It’s best to consider other options if you live in an area that gets little sun.
If there isn’t enough sunlight hitting your panels on rainy days, solar panel performance can be affected.
Remember, Australia is blessed with a lot sun, so it’s worth it, even for those living in Melbourne.
3. The environment can be damaged by solar panels being manufactured
While solar panels are renewable and clean energy, their manufacturing process can cause environmental damage. Solar panels can be mass-produced, which could lead to the burning of fossil fuels and the creation of plastic waste.
This is one of the many disadvantages of solar panel. They cannot be mass-produced in an eco-friendly manner. You can also ask, “What is this?” It is a shame, because solar panels are a major movement to combat the climate crisis.
This is a problem for solar panels, even though they produce renewable, green energy. They still do more good than harm, overall.
4. Conversion rate of low energy
Even the most sophisticated solar panels can only convert 20-25% of sun’s energy to power. This shows how many opportunities there are to improve technology to maximise the sun’s power.
There are many factors to consider, such as the location and direction of the panels.
Jinko solar panels has held the world record for several times. Canadian solar panels have also achieved the world record. My complete guide to the most efficient solar panels in 2021 can be found here.
However, solar panel efficiency should not be the main thing. Particularly when we’re talking about a difference of 1-2%. I would be more concerned about warranties or installation.
5. Night use is not permitted
Your solar panels cannot produce energy at night, so they can only generate energy for 12 hours. There will be no production of energy if there isn’t enough sunlight to reach the panels.
This is an issue with solar panels, but it could be overcome by new technology. Already, there are talks of an “anti-solar panel” that can produce electricity at night.
Future outlook for solar energy
To make solar power more effective, efficiency will need to increase and prices of solar cells to fall. Between now and 2015, the EIA anticipates nearly 100% growth in U.S. solar capacity. As increased demand drives greater production, this will lead to a decrease in prices. There are many research projects that focus on improving the design of solar cells and finding new materials to make them more efficient and cheaper.