When people hear the word ‘solar’, they often think of large, corporate interests, such as solar power plants or large-scale solar installations used to generate electricity. While these are all valid uses of solar energy, there is also a significantly smaller category known as ‘microwave oven solar’. This type of solar energy system uses the heat generated by the sun to warm up food, water or other materials. The heat is either stored for future use or removed directly from the source to provide hot water for homes or industries.
While this form of solar energy is a great option for rural areas and places where there is no other form of grid-connected energy, it still requires a lot of space – and money. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need a large plot of land to put one up.
The concept behind microwave oven solar is fairly simple: gather a few sheets of crystalline silicon and other readily available materials together and you have a solar cell. The challenge in manufacturing them is that each piece is quite small and has to be mounted individually on a large metal surface. The efficiency of this kind of solar cell is extremely low compared to conventional solar cells because most of the light is blocked by the metal surface.
A Large Percentage of Solar Energy Is Produced By Individuals
If we examine the history of solar energy, we can see that it was first used in rural areas and only later implemented in larger communities. In recent years, however, this has changed. Thanks to technological advancements, more and more people are choosing to generate their own solar power. And what is more, a lot of those people are choosing to do so in a DIY fashion, using off-the-shelf components.
Even more impressively, these days you can find literally hundreds of different DIY solar projects that you can use to help generate some extra electricity. This is a testament to the fact that more and more people are realizing the many advantages that solar energy has to offer.
A Growing Alternative To Traditional Energy
We live in a world full of challenges. The global population is rapidly increasing, climate change is already having a tremendous effect, and traditional energy sources – such as coal and nuclear power – are being stretched thin by all this need. That is why energy security has become such a pressing issue, and why so many people are taking a second look at alternative forms of power generation.
In 2018, the worldwide demand for energy will reach a record-breaking 33.9 billion kWh. This is expected to grow by another 20% by 2023. With so much need and demand, you would think that all energy sources would be getting a boost. But in reality, fossil fuels, including coal and natural gas, will only generate electricity at a rate of about 4% this year. The rest will come from smaller sources, such as wind and solar power.
While we still need fossil fuels to generate electricity, we clearly aren’t dependent on them. Not when there are alternatives out there that can provide us with just as much, if not more, energy than traditional sources. And when we think about all the people, places and resources that go into making traditional energy, it is easy to see why so many are turning to alternative power sources.
The good news is that we aren’t necessarily stuck with one energy source. We have more than enough solar energy to power the world…for now.
Why Solar Energy?
While it is great to see so many people choosing to generate their own solar energy, why choose this as a source of power? What is it that makes solar energy so appealing to individuals and communities alike?
To start with, let’s examine the energy itself. Solar energy is completely untapped, renewable power that can be stored for later use. It is available 24/7 and doesn’t pose any threat to the environment.
Even more impressively, solar energy can be created at minimal cost. The hardware required to generate it is quite cheap and it takes very little energy to fuel it, which is great for those who are looking to diminish their carbon footprint. The fact that so much energy is available for free is what makes solar energy such an attractive option for those who are looking to reduce their energy bills.
The fact that so much solar energy is generated by the sun is also an attractive selling point. Since we don’t need to rely on any third party to provide us with power like we do with traditional sources, this directly links to increased security and decreased dependency. If we look at the history of the industry, we can see that it started back in the 1800s and was only later adopted by larger communities. This was due mainly to the fact that the sun doesn’t shine down on everybody all the time – which can be a major problem when you need power. If the sun doesn’t shine, you can’t make electricity. This often led to blackouts and high energy bills.
Today, due to advances in technology and increased demand, more and more people are getting their fill of sunshine. This is evidenced by the fact that there are so many different projects that you can use to help generate some extra power. This is also why more and more people are looking to solar energy as a source of power. Because if the sun is shining, we can make electricity.
While solar energy doesn’t have all the answers to our energy needs, it certainly is a viable option that deserves to be considered by everybody. And with all the advancements that are being made in technology and manufacturing, it is only getting better and more efficient each year.