When we think about renewable energy, usually the first thing that comes to mind is the sun. The sun is capable of providing us with endless free energy. However, owing to the fact that most of us live in areas with cloudy skies and rains that dampen efforts, not all of the energy from the sun can be converted into useful electricity.
The good news is that with modern equipment and knowledge, this is now easily achievable. In fact, with modern day practices, one may now produce more electricity than they need for their own consumption. Therefore, one may then store the excess electricity in a battery bank or sell it back to the grid.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
Solar energy works through the simple process of absorbing energy from the sun and converting it into useful electricity. This is made possible through the use of photovoltaic cells or solar panels. The amount of electricity that can be produced by a solar power system depends on many factors, including the type of equipment used, the position of the sun, and the amount of energy harvested on a daily basis.
How Much Electricity Does A Solar Panel Produce?
A solar panel produces around 0.5 watts of electricity per day when placed in full sunlight. To determine how much electricity you can expect from a solar panel, simply multiply this value by the number of hours of sunshine per day in your area. For example, if you get 12 hours of sunshine per day, you will be able to produce 12 x 0.5 watts = 6 watts of electricity per day. If you live in a cloudy region, you will only be able to generate a small amount of electricity with a solar panel.
The important thing to note about solar electricity is that it is clean and sustainable. This type of power generation does not pose any danger to the environment, and it helps to preserve natural resources. If you have a large enough solar power system, you may even be able to sell some of the electricity to electricity companies who will pay you for producing it.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Solar Power System?
The cost of installing a solar power system depends on many factors, including your location, the type of system you choose, and the company you contract with. However, most solar power systems can be installed for around $25,000 – $30,000, not including the cost of the materials.
What Are The Different Types Of Solar Systems Available?
While solar energy can be produced and stored using a variety of methods, the most common ones are photovoltaic cells, solar heat collectors, and energy storage systems. Let’s take a look at what each one entails.
Photovoltaic Cells (PV)
Photovoltaic cells are what makes solar energy possible. When light shines on a photovoltaic cell, it creates an electric current that can be used to power electronic devices or stored in a battery. Because photovoltaic cells work on such a basic principle, anyone can easily understand how they work and how much electricity they produce. The main downside to photovoltaic cells is that they are highly dependent on the weather. If you live in a sunny area, you will be able to generate a large amount of electricity. If you live in an area with bad weather conditions, you may not be able to generate any electricity at all. This makes long-term weather forecasts important for keeping track of how much power you are producing and storing.
Solar Heat Collectors (SHC)
A solar heat collector gathers and concentrates solar energy by absorbing solar heat and transferring it to a storage medium, such as a molten salt reservoir or a water tank. Once the heat is stored, it can be used to generate electricity as needed. As with any other type of renewable energy, the amount of electricity that can be generated by a solar heat collector is dependent on many factors, including the type of equipment used, the position of the sun, and the amount of heat collected on a daily basis. The main advantage of a solar heat collector is that it is more reliable than photovoltaic cells. You do not have to worry about the weather conditions affecting your ability to generate electricity.
Energy Storage System (ESS)
An energy storage system stores excess electricity for later use. This is made possible through the use of batteries, flywheels, or deep aquifers. When electricity is stored, it is no longer available for immediate use and must be purchased from electric companies at a much higher rate. However, owing to the fact that renewable energy is environmentally friendly, the cost of electricity bought back from an energy storage system is usually lower than the cost of electricity bought from traditional power plants. In some cases, the difference is as much as 15 percent. This makes it a cost-effective long-term strategy for storing excess electricity.
Solar Energy vs. Nuclear Energy: Is One Worth While Than The Other?
Many people are hesitant to choose solar energy as a power source because they believe that it is not a safe or reliable energy source. If you are in the dark and do not have access to reliable electricity, then solar energy may not be for you. However, if you have a reliable source of electricity and you want to reduce your carbon footprint, then going green with solar energy may be the way to do it. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of both solar energy and nuclear energy so that you can choose which one is best suited to your needs.
Pros Of Solar Energy
When thinking about alternatives to fossil fuels, solar energy usually comes to mind. Not only is it clean and sustainable, but it is also free. The sun provides us with a constant source of energy that does not cost us a penny. If you live in an area where sunshine is not abundant, then you can purchase photovoltaic cells or use modern day practices to increase the amount of energy you can produce.
The good news is that with modern equipment and knowledge, it’s possible to produce a large amount of electricity using solar energy. If you store this electricity in a battery bank, you can use it whenever you need it. Therefore, you will not be dependent on the grid for electricity, which is usually the case with renewable energy sources. When using electricity from the grid, there is always the chance that it will be unavailable, especially if there is a power outage or the like. This could lead to dangerous situations.
Cons Of Solar Energy
Despite all of the advantages that solar energy has to offer, there is one major downside. Because it is not safe or reliable, people are often hesitant to rely on it as an energy source. People who live in areas with heavy reliance on solar energy may experience power cuts or brownouts if the sun does not provide sufficient energy to maintain a continuous flow of electricity. When this happens, it usually means that everyone else on the grid will also experience blackouts or brownouts, thus creating a domino effect.
Pros Of Nuclear Energy
If you are looking for a clean and reliable alternative to fossil fuels, then you may want to consider nuclear energy. Like fossil fuels, nuclear energy is also a quick and easy way to generate electricity. If you live in an area where there are already a lot of people who have chosen to go green, then you may find that the demand for electricity has increased, leading to more competition and higher rates. In some cases, electricity produced by nuclear power plants can be purchased for a penny or two a kWh.
However, unlike fossil fuels, nuclear energy does not pollute the environment. For this reason, many people believe that it is a safer and more reliable energy source. The main downside to nuclear energy is that it is not clean. In fact, it is the opposite of green. The process of generating energy through nuclear power is not only dirty but it also causes long-term damage to the environment. Even though this damage is often unavoidable, it is still considered a wrong move to actively pursue energy generation through nuclear power. Moreover, when nuclear power plants do break down, they can take a long time to be fixed. This is because a lot of experience and expertise is usually needed to locate the root of the problem and then fix it.
Cons Of Nuclear Energy
Just like with solar energy, there is also one major downside to nuclear energy. As with solar energy, not everyone will be able to take advantage of the plentiful supply of reliable electricity that is generated by nuclear power plants. For this reason, people who cannot afford expensive electricity may be forced to choose alternatives that are more expensive but are nevertheless available. In some cases, this may mean turning to natural gas or wood-burning stoves to meet the demand for electricity.