More and more people are discovering the delights of living off the grid, and with the warm summer months upon us, it’s the perfect time to explore this increasingly popular option. However, before you rush out and purchase all the necessary equipment, there are a few things you should know. First of all, let’s examine the basics of solar power, shall we?
What Is Solar Power?
Although we tend to think of electricity when it comes to power, electricity is just one form of energy that can be harnessed from the sun. Other forms of solar power include solar thermal power and solar photovoltaic power (or solar PV for short). While the first is simply generated by using heat from the sun to provide power, the latter converts light energy directly into electricity. This article will focus on solar PV, as it is the most common and popularly used form of solar power. However, the other two will be covered briefly as well, since they are similar in many ways.
All Around The Sun
The sun is the source of all energy and light, and thus we find lots of solar-related equipment, such as sunglasses, sunscreen, and even laptops and mobile phones, which are quite common these days. This is because the energy from the sun is essential for our digital devices to run. You may have also noticed that electronic devices tend to consume less energy when connected to the Internet, compared to when they’re on their own without any access to the web. This is because many electronic devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, have on-board WiFi antennas that capture wireless signals from local WiFi hotspots, allowing them to function even when plugged into an electrical socket. The sun provides WiFi hotspots all around the world, and thus electronic devices continue to evolve to capture the energy from the sun.
Where Does The Sun Come From?
We see the sun every day, but did you know that it is not actually a part of ourselves but a source of energy that we just happen to be able to see? The sun grows closer to the earth as the years go by, and this is why we see more and more people living in isolated cabins in the woods, trying to capture the sun with all its energy and use it to power their homes. The problem is that the sun does not always shine, and when it doesn’t, we cannot generate electricity, and so this option simply doesn’t work. In fact, depending on where you live, you may not even be able to harness the energy from the sun. This brings us to our next point.
Location, Location, Location
It’s all about location, location, location when it comes to solar power. If you live in a place where there is plenty of sunshine, you can use all the power the sun provides to generate electricity, as it is easily captured. However, if you live somewhere darker, you may not be able to generate much electricity at all, unless you invest in a lot of expensive gear. This is why you need to find out where you live so you can have an idea of how much power you can generate, and whether or not solar is a feasible option for you. Do you live in a place where the sun always shines, or is it dark most of the time? Take a look at your local solar power potential with an online solar power calculator so you can find out more. This way, you’ll know exactly what your options are before making any purchase decisions.
Power On The Move
If you’re looking to generate your own power on the go, you have several options. First of all, there are standalone solar power systems that you can bring with you wherever you go, but to make sure that they work, you will need to keep them plugged in all the time. This can be tiresome, especially if you’re traveling and want to use electric appliances such as kettles and hairdryers. Thankfully, there are also systems that can be powered by mobile devices, so you can turn them on and off as needed. These operate on the same principle of solar power and use photovoltaic cells to convert light energy directly into electricity. They are thus easier to use and more portable than other options, which is probably why more people are choosing them. However, if you’re looking for a long-term or even permanent solution, you may want to consider an off-grid solar power system, which provides greater flexibility and has more potential to provide electricity than mobile devices, as well as the ability to store more energy. In addition, off-grid solar systems are more stable and less likely to malfunction, compared to mobile devices, which are more prone to overheating and shortening their lifespan.
The Evolution Of Power Generation
The above details about solar power are important to understand, as they will help you determine what kind of energy system is best suited to your home. Do you want a system that is flexible enough to provide electricity whenever the sun shines, but don’t want to invest in a lot of expensive gear that will end up gathering dust and not providing any energy? On the other hand, do you live in a place where the sun shines all year round, and want to harness its energy to generate electricity that will be used mostly for home appliances? In addition, do you live in a place where internet access is readily available and wireless signals are easily captured, or does it get dark at night, and you want an option that is connected to the web so you can access your email and surf the web from anywhere? Before you buy any power generation equipment, it’s important to consider these questions so you can get the most out of your investment.
Is It Worth It?
As we’ve established above, location is incredibly important when choosing a power system for your home. This is because you will need to find out whether or not the sun is capable of providing enough energy to generate electricity, and if so, where you can get the most out of it. In some places, such as Japan, Australia, and Chile, the sun is abundant and provides lots of energy, making solar power a very viable option for homes. However, in other places, such as parts of the United States and Europe, it is only capable of providing a small amount of energy, making solar power less of an option. If you live in one of these places, and especially if you live in a country where prices on electricity are high, it may not be worth it to invest in a solar power system due to insufficient energy generation.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a power system for your home is cost. For mobile devices, the price of photovoltaic cells has come down, making them cheaper to purchase. However, if you want to purchase a standalone solar power system that is able to generate electricity for home appliances, you will need to spend more money, as they are more expensive than mobile devices. In addition, if you decide to use solar energy to power your home during daylight hours, and keep using electricity at night, you will need to buy extra batteries to store the electricity, as well as inverters to change the direct current (DC) electricity from the sun into alternating current (AC), which is easier to use for home appliances. If you do not want to purchase extra equipment, you can buy a mobile device that is capable of generating electricity on the go, as mentioned before. Just make sure that the mobile device that you buy has been designed to provide sufficient output to power your home, and remember to always check the manufacturer’s website for the best price and more information before buying.
As we mentioned above, more and more people are discovering the delights of living off the grid, and with the warm summer months upon us, it’s the perfect time to explore this increasingly popular option. However, before you rush out and purchase all the necessary equipment, there are a few things you should know. First of all, let’s examine the basics of solar power, shall we?