The environmental impact of conventional power has been greatly magnified, as conventional power relies heavily on non-renewable resources such as coal and oil. The effects on human health are also worrisome, as many studies have shown that people are more likely to die from power plant exposure. Luckily, there’s a better alternative–solar energy! Not only is solar energy renewable, but it also offers clean air and water as byproducts. Moreover, solar energy is relatively cheap and, with technological advancements, it has become even more cost-efficient. In fact, solar energy is so effective that in some places, it even exceeds conventional power in terms of price-per-unit! That’s right–solar energy is cheaper. It’s time to stop relying on outdated energy sources and move to a solar-powered world.
The Rise Of Solar
While solar power has been around for centuries, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that it began to take off as an energy source. The first residential solar-power system was installed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1906, and the technology soon took off thanks in part to government support and the invention of the photovoltaic cell, which is the basis of solar power. The United States and other developed countries started relying heavily on solar energy due to the Great Depression and as a way to conserve resources during World War II. Since the 1950s, solar power has continued to grow rapidly, due in large part to government support (such as tax breaks and subsidized loans) and technological advancements (such as the introduction of mass-produced photovoltaic cells and affordable solar hardware). Today, residential and small-business solar power is a $22 billion industry in the U.S., and it’s expected to double its revenue in the next five years.
Residential Solar Power Systems
A residential solar power system consists of three basic parts: photovoltaic cells, solar water heaters, and a controller. The photovoltaic cells turn sunlight into electricity, which is stored in the controller, usually in the form of batteries. The electricity is then used to charge up the batteries of the solar water heaters. When the batteries are fully charged, the water heaters supply enough electricity to power all the lights and appliances in the house. A residential solar power system also provides the user with a report showing the average daily energy consumption and how much energy the system produces. Moreover, a residential solar power system usually comes with a 25-year parts and labor warranty.
Commercial Solar Power Systems
A commercial solar power system is very similar to a residential one, with the exception that it is generally bigger and more powerful. The reason being that it is usually used in larger establishments, such as factories, schools, and office buildings. The photovoltaic cells and solar water heaters are still the same, but a commercial system also includes large batteries that can store a lot of electricity and a powerful inverter to convert the electricity to usable energy. Due to its bigger scale, a commercial solar power system also requires more sophisticated hardware and bigger batteries.
The Impact Of Solar Power
In general, people are very happy with residential and small-business solar power systems because they produce a minimal amount of waste products, such as water and carbon dioxide, and they improve the environment by utilizing natural resources more efficiently. Moreover, people are seeing the economic benefits of having an alternative energy source, as they are often a lot cheaper than using conventional power sources. It’s a win-win situation!
As more and more people look to offset the harmful effects of conventional power on the environment and become more efficient in their energy use, the demand for residential and small-business solar power systems will only continue to grow.