Solar power for home use has come quite a long way since its first big boom of popularity decades ago. The concept in its infancy had shone with bright promise, but at that time it was just barely cost effective, and the acquisition of its benefits seemed to only have been within the reach of the fairly well-to-do. It would cost within the neighborhood of ten grand, give or take a thousand or so, to cover a person’s roof with photovoltaic cells (“solar panels”) in order to draw in enough solar energy to generate the electricity needed to supply power for the home. After many years, the panel array would eventually pay for itself, and would continue to produce free electricity. So then, how are things with this technology different today?
Today, solar power for home owners everywhere is much more easily acquired due to the evolutionary stages of photovoltaic cell production that has occurred over the past few decades. Solar cells are vastly cheaper now due to much more efficient production, and the energy output of them are worlds superior to what they had offered in the past. In this day and age, people everywhere are even building their own solar cells from cheaply acquired components. Many have worked on weekend projects using about a hundred dollars to build their own single solar panel about two by four feet in size, and use it to power a few appliances in their garage, such as a dormitory sized refrigerator, a stereo system and a laptop computer just from the single panel alone.
Using solar power for home electricity production is not only beneficial for one’s bank account, but is also a much needed and welcomed solution for eliminating the carbon footprint we have scorched into our world. It is a sustainable energy source which can never be exhausted. Solar energy is constantly being produced, and no amount of solar panels will ever deplete the supply. Taking the energy does absolutely no harm to the environment, and utilizing it causes no harm as well – it is clean, it produces no exhaust or pollutants, it leaves utterly no impact in the environment, and it is the best source of free electricity, period.
Solar power for home use is not only inexpensively acquired, it is also simple and easy to put to use – and it just makes the purest of common sense to do so. Think about it… wouldn’t you rather completely eliminate a monthly expense? What’s more is that the energy output of today’s solar cells is such that it very often produces a surplus of electricity. Those using this technology who remain on the grid are actually benefiting another way; most State laws mandate that the local power companies must buy back this surplus electricity from the residences producing it. It’s truly a thrill to watch a kilowatt-hour meter running backwards as it basically feeds money from the power companies into your bank account!
If you’re interested in learning more about solar power and other things related to alternative energy, then you’ve got to check out the EcoPlusHome project. Bryan Kenny and his family are an average North American family with one exception…they’re living in the EcoPlusHome. The EcoPlusHome is a prefabricated home powered by alternative energies like solar thermal, geothermal and photovoltaic. Bryan and his family will show the world that it is possible to live self sustained for a 12 month period by showcasing their journey living in the EcoPlusHome on their blog. Bryan and his family welcome you to join their journey to self sufficiency on their blog http://ecoplushome.com/blog.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Energy
Solar energy can be used and is used for electricity, central heating, hot water, cooking, for producing salt and even for desalination. Solar energy comes from the sun?s rays. Solar energy is known to be very environmentally friendly. however, when the sun rays enter the earth?s atmosphere it is absolutely dilute.
despite solar energy is known to be absolutely environmentally friendly it doesn?t only has advantages but also some disadvantages. Let?s discuss few advantages and disadvantages of solar energy.
Let?s start with the simple advantage of solar energy. Solar energy is clean. To generate electricity or heat with solar energy you only need the sun rays. There is no need to use fossil fuel in combination with sun rays to produce electricity or heat. You just need a solar energy collector or solar power panels in order to collect solar energy.
Solar energy is cheaper compared with electric heating. That is another big advantage of solar energy. By just using solar energy you can save a lot of money on heaters. In return you will get lower electric bills and it also means that you don?t have to claim heaters.
If you live in a remote area where there are no power-lines solar energy can be the answer. There are remote areas where power companies have no means to access your home. Solar energy is a good alternative because it provides you with anything from heating water, electricity, and even cooking.
Another great use of solar energy is for desalination in areas where fresh, drinkable water is scarce. Solar energy evaporates brine and leaves the salt crystals in the bottom of the basin. The water in turn condenses back in another basin where it is now drinkable.
Even though all of the above is very useful solar energy also has some disadvantages. These disadvantages also need to be discussed to paint a better overall picture.
The main disadvantage of solar energy is that it?s dilute. This means you have to have a lot of solar collectors installed around your house. Solar energy may be absolutely cheap but the solar collectors are relatively expensive and require regular maintenance in order to work properly and efficiently. If you decide to use solar energy you need to calculate the return
on investment in order to know if the investment will be worth it.
One big disadvantage is that you need the sun rays to make use of solar energy. If you are situated in a part of this beautiful planet where there is not much sun light then this could be a problem. In other spaces, the sun rays are almost always covered in clouds making solar energy collectors less efficient. You should first know if the sunshine in your space is abundant for the most part of the year. Of course if you live in desert areas like in Arizona or Mexico the sun produces a lot of sunshine for the most part of the year and is ideal for solar energy collecting.
Lastly the sun only shines during the day. Therefore if you need electricity or hot water during the night, like many of us do, it can be a problem. You will need a backup system like the ?old? utility grid or you will need to store the electricity for later use. There are battery systems that can store solar energy for later use.
Solar energy is very clean and an alternative to conventional heating and electrical systems. Although this is true it is also good to mention the disadvantages of solar energy. If you are considering using solar energy you must read this first to make a balanced decision?.
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By: Attila Wollein
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