Ways to Power Your House Using Solar Energy
Solar Energy is the result of radiation the sun emits. The sun is a powerful energy source; therefore, its energy can be harnessed by the use of the solar panels. Due to the increasing demand of solar energy, the technology used to harness it has greatly improved, creating more efficient and cleaner energy sources.
Turning Solar energy into electricity is achieved by using two different types of technology: concentrated solar power and photo-voltaic. With the advancement of technology, many people are now turning to solar energy. Some, however, remain hesitant due to the initial cost of set up and installation, leaving them wondering if solar energy is truly helping the environment.
In today’s economy, people are always looking for ways to save money. One way to achieve this is to cut the monthly bill by investing into the renewable energy. It is expected that the use of solar energy will eventually take over traditional electricity, opening the doors for it to be used in more ways than just light homes. The benefits of using solar energy could be the reduce the cost—possibly eliminate—utility bills, save on taxes, and to use it in many ways.
There are multiple ways you can use solar energy in your home.
Rooftop solar panel
This is the most common way of using solar energy. The panels are installed on the roof, but they may also be installed in the yard. According to the orientation and latitude of the panels, the solar panel will be able to produce at least 10 or more watts per square foot. The average home requires at least one kilowatt of the power. This means that just a few solar panels will be enough to power one home.
If a roof must be repaired or changed, solar shingles can be purchased. With the shingles, the solar panels will be mounted over the roof and it will take a place of the roof tiles.
Solar Powered Wind Turbines
The wind turbine is another effective method of turning radiation into solar energy and are commonly seen floating offshore or on wind farms. Wind turbines are placed on the property close to homes. However, turbines aren’t the most popular method of solar energy used for individual homes. They are often noisy and are often unappealing to look at. They also take up a lot of space. Another issue that can arise when placing wind turbines is zoning regulations. Many laws prohibit the use of wind turbines, even if you own the property.
When it is not possible to have renewable energy in the entire home, a family can still use solar powered appliances. One such appliance is a solar oven. Solar ovens are used to help reduce cooking bills. The oven is used to heat food passively. The solar oven can work to trap the sunlight and to heat food. Solar ovens can be made or purchased. The benefits of these solar powered devices are many. They can heat food as well as be used in the event of a power outage or emergency.
Solar water heater/Geysers
The solar water heater will use the sun in heating and reserving that water which may be pumped within the radiators or away of the shower-head and faucet. The system is cheaper compared to using electricity and gas to heat the water. It is easy to use compared to the solar panel.
Home air conditioner
Solar energy isn’t just used to heat a home. It can now be used to cool a home by using the very thing that makes it hot: the sun. The solar air conditioning system uses same principle as the solar water heater; however, that hot water will be used in solar air conditioning unit instead.
When using traditional electricity, air conditioning can get expensive, especially during the extremely hot days of summer. However, when hot water is used in cooling the home, it will save money and help reduce the carbon footprint, making the environment a healthier place for everyone.
Hot water taken from the air conditioning can be used to power other appliances in the home, depending on the setup.
Even if it is not a renewable energy, it will work well with renewable generator, and it may also help to save more money while using renewable system.
The rechargeable battery stores electricity. It can be programmed so it may charge itself using the grid if the prize of the electricity is lower and it will discharge itself when the price is higher. When the battery is connected to the solar energy system, it can store extra electricity, holding it as a backup source. When the battery is connected to the power grid, it is possible to get tax credit.
But before making the investment into the solar energy systems, it is better to understand its benefits and disadvantages.
– Renewable Energy Source
In all the benefits that the solar panels offer, the fact that it is a renewable source of energy is the number one benefit. Wherever there is a sun, the solar energy may be used. It is not possible that the sun energy can run out, as it happens with other energy source.
– Reduces the bills of electricity
Because the user will be spending less by using solar energy, the energy bill is likely to drop. However, the amount the consumer saves it determinant on how much energy—heat, electricity, cooling, etc—is used. Sometimes the solar panels can be connected to a grid, and extra energy that was stored will be sent to the grid. The user can also save more when the extra electricity is sold at a high rate, in the day and can buy the electricity at a lower rate during the night.
– Diverse applications
Solar energy may be harnessed to be used in different situations. It will generate electricity if photovoltaic is being used or it can generate heat when solar thermal is being used. The solar energy will be used to produce the electricity in the place where there is no energy grid or to distill water in the place where there is no clean water. It can also power satellites. Solar energy may be integrated in the materials that are used while building.
– Low cost in maintenance
Solar energy systems do not require much maintenance. They only must be cleaned roughly twice per year. There are companies that offer cleaning services and in most cases the services do not cost more than 35 dollars. Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty. Since the panels do not have moving parts, the wear and tear are very minimal. The Inverter should be changed every 10 years since it works continuously, converting solar energy into electricity or heat. Besides the inverter, cables should also be well maintained to make sure the solar power system output is at the maximum. After covering initial cost of solar energy system, the outside costs are very minimal.
– Technology development
The solar power industry is constantly coming up with new and advanced technology, pushing the uses of solar energy to new heights. The use of nanotechnology and quantum physics have proven to increase effectiveness, and they can double, possibly triple, the capacity of the solar panels and their electrical input.
Disadvantages caused by solar energy
The initial investment of the solar energy system can be expensive. Because the initial costs must include all the correct wiring, batteries, inverter, materials, and solar panels required to make sure the system runs with efficiency. However, with the advance of technology as well as solar technology, the prices are likely to become more affordable in the future.
– Dependent on the weather
Even if the solar energy may be collected in rainy or cloudy days, their efficiency will drop. The solar panels use the sunlight to gather solar energy. This means during rainy and/or cloudy days, the energy system will be affected. The solar panels also do not work during the night, so it is good to have an alternative source of energy to use during the night.
– Storage of Solar energy
Solar energy can be used at once or it will be stored in batteries. The batteries do uses off the grid solar system and will be charged in the day and the energy will be used during the night. However, energy demand can be higher in the day and it is easy to meet them by the use the solar energy available during the day.
– The solar panels take too much space
For those who needs more electricity, more solar panels are required. It is because there is a need to collect the sunlight energy whenever possible. The solar panels require a large space and sometimes the roof is simply not big enough, making it impossible to install many panels on the roof of a home. If the roof is not enough to install all the panels, fewer panels will be installed.
– It causes pollution
Even if the pollution which is related to the solar system is not too much in comparison with other energy generation methods, it does cause some level of pollution. The installation and the transportation of solar energy systems are known to cause greenhouse gases. Some hazardous product and toxic materials are being used during the manufacturing process of the photo-voltaic. This will impact on the environment indirectly.