Solar Energy Products and Systems Columbia SC
solar panels energy Westinghouse dealer sales and installation
Energy audits, Energy Star Verification, Contracting services
Solar PV, solar Thermal
Solar Energy Products and Systems
Many people are talking and discussing about the advantages of using solar energy products and systems. With all the hype regarding going green these past few years, it’s only natural that “green energy” is becoming a common thing these days. However, even with all this hype, people actually do not fully understand what this solar energy actually entails. For the most part, it’s basically what the term describes: energy coming from solar power. However, it’s not as easy as that. Also, even though solar energy is green power, it isn’t exactly all benefits and advantages; solar energy system installation also has a number of disadvantages. So what exactly is solar energy, how is it helpful, and how is it disadvantageous?
Understanding solar energy
Basically, solar energy is the power that comes naturally from the sun, harnessed through a number of means such as the use of solar panels and other similar devices. Although the exact process is very complex, what the solar panels do is collect the light and then get its energy. This solar panel is called the photovoltaic module. Developed during the 19th century, solar energy became better known and widely used just a few decades ago. In a nutshell, while people knew the sun’s light has some sort of energy that can be used practically here, there is no actual technology that can harness the light into usable energy. Of course, with the photovoltaic module, as well as other similar devices, solar energy can now be harnessed used.
There are two ways used to capture the energy from the sun. The first is solar thermal. This step doesn’t actually need any aid, since this is the part where the power of the sunlight is inherent. The solar panels, however, aid in capturing more sunlight. Once the panels capture the sun’s heat, it is transferred to the water using tubes called the solar thermal collectors. The heat then circulates and is used to heat the water. Meanwhile, the heated water heats the air around it. This is how solar power is distributed.
The second is the photovoltaic process. Here, the panels capture the sunlight and turn it into electricity. How is this done? By stimulating the solar energy’s electrons. This produces direct current electricity, a usable kind of electricity which can be used.
Although the technology and the knowledge were somewhat available then, what really drove the people then to explore the boundaries of solar energy is the 1979 energy crisis, where oil production was down due to the Iranian Revolution. This triggered them to find other energy sources, energy sources that are renewable and can be attained easily. In a way, this turned out to be solar energy.
Solar energy is green energy because it is renewable. This means, this kind of energy can be replaced (after all, the sunlight is infinite, unless it suddenly dies out, which is of course possible after several years). Solar energy is unlike electricity or fuel because the two latter energy sources, once consumed, cannot be manufactured from a renewable source. For instance, in the case of fuel, once oil runs out, there’s no way we can get fuel again. They require people to consume other materials before it can be made—some sort of equivalent exchange. As for solar energy, while there are necessary tools needed to produce it, the nature of the solar energy (it is renewable) makes it somewhat practical and green.
But why only somewhat practical? In terms of actual power, solar energy cannot be used to the extent wherein a device can run solely on it. There are appliances and devices that run on solar energy, yet it is only part of the power source. One reason why this is so is because it does not work when the sun is out. And to be able to be a consistent power source, the source has to be available all the time.
Still, solar energy is powerful enough to work with other renewable power sources. For instance, when a solar energy system works with battery and electricity as alternative energy sources, it will run smoothly because it has other sources of green power once solar energy is not available. Currently, less than one percent of all the energy being used today is from solar energy system. Still, there is hope: the number (which is currently at 0.02 percent, more or less) is growing significantly. Also, the technology is improving, so there should be no fear that this kind of power use will decline any time soon. Experts do believe that solar energy system instillation can increase up to 60 percent around 20 to 30 years from now. Of course, that’s still not a very good number, but it’s a good start and it can help the environment immensely.
Advantages of solar energy
Is there even a need to discuss the advantages of solar energy?
As mentioned earlier, solar energy was developed or explored in order to prevent the major effects of any succeeding energy crises. Future problems such as the 1979 energy crisis are possible, due to the use of resources that cannot be redeemed. This is the main draw of solar energy. Considering how much energy can be attained from the massive efforts, it cannot be said that the advantage of solar energy is its actual power and capacity to provide energy to the multitudes of houses and establishments. But with solar energy, as long as there are systems that can convert sunlight into solar energy, it wouldn’t run out. With oil, once its gone, it’s really gone.
Also, because solar energy is green energy, it is silent and non-polluting. This is basically the reason why it is called green energy. The process also requires little maintenance.
As for the disadvantages, solar energy is quite ironically expensive. Sunlight is free, of course, but the solar panels are not. Also, this kind of power cannot be made at night, so alternative power sources are still required.