Solar energy is something that more and more Americans are considering. One 2019 survey found that almost 50% of homeowners had given the idea serious thought.
Solar power systems have been a movement for those who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and traditional electricity is not so clean. Installing solar panels on your home can help combat greenhouse gas emissions from the fossil fuel burning plants that provide current energy sources like coal or natural gas, which emit significant amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere resulting in climate change.
Solar power has exploded as an industry over recent years due to its sustainability benefits such as providing renewable and environmentally-friendly energy without contributing towards global warming because it doesn’t produce any harmful byproducts unlike other forms of traditionally used energies
But solar panels can be expensive to install, not to mention a big commitment, so many are still hesitant to take the plunge. This is understandable, but it also represents a great chance for more people to educate themselves on the myriad benefits of solar energy.
From your planet to your wallet and much more in between, installing solar panels on your property makes sense for many reasons. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about what these are, read on.
1. There are Tonnes of Government Incentives
Yes, solar panels can be a big investment, especially when you’re first installing them. The US government recognizes this—just like it recognizes the importance of renewable energy sources. Because of this, the US government (as well as many states on a separate basis) is now offering all kinds of incentives for homeowners to encourage them to embrace solar power.
These come in the form of tax credits, rebates, grants—the list goes on. It’s always worth doing some research online to see what kind of monetary help your state and local government may be offering.
2. Helps to Fight Climate Change
The reason that governments are so eager to encourage solar panel installation is because of the positive impact they can have on the environment. They can help to reduce air pollution, water usage, and CO2 emissions. They also serve to reduce our society’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
All of the above adds up to a major win for mother earth. It’s a great feeling to be doing your part to help preserve the planet we call home.
3. Save Money on Utility Bills
Beyond the initial installation and maintenance costs, solar power is a completely free source of energy. This means you can power your home for a fraction of the cost that you normally do. Depending on the location and position of your home, you can generate enough energy to take care of large chunks of your energy bill each month.
4. Increase the Value of Your Home
Even in the unlikely case that all of the above doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are still more reasons you may want to have solar panels installed. Did you know that solar panels increase the value of a home? They make it inherently more attractive to potential buyers because of the energy savings they can offer.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may want to consider having a solar installation company come and have a look, to see whether you might be a good candidate. It could help you to sell your home faster and for a more fair price.
What Are Solar Panels Used For?
There are so many new, innovative uses for solar panels that it is hard to keep track of them all. However, the most common use for energy-saving solar panels has always been to generate electricity from sunlight. Companies and individuals also use them in a variety of creative ways such as heating water or many things solar panels can be used for. You probably already know that solar panels are used as a power source to generate electricity, but these panels have many other uses too.
A Few Examples of Other Uses for Solar Panels:
1) Charges devices and batteries – You might not believe it but you can actually charge your cell phone with a solar panel. There are many portable panels available that can be charged and taken on the road with you so you will always have something to charge your phone, laptop or tablet. It is also a great idea to use this type of system for emergency preparedness.
2) Hot water – With a few simple additions to an ordinary solar panel you can use it to heat up water for your home. This is really great for those who live in seasonal climates as this system will hang around and generate free energy during the off-season months. You can also use a solar panel with an indoor heating system too.
3) Boil or freeze – If you have ever used an outdoor grill then you know how hot the coals can get. You can use this to actually boil water, or even freeze things if you have a solar powered freezer. Of course it isn’t as fast as an electrical one, but using the sun’s rays is always going to be better than not using anything at all!
4) Makes air conditioners more efficient – If you already have an air conditioning unit then you should consider adding a solar panel to the roof. The condenser in your AC unit will use up nearly 40% of your electricity and if you replace it with one that is powered by a solar panel, you can cut back on that usage significantly.
5) Charging a car battery – There are also small, portable solar panels that can be used to provide energy for electric cars. This is something that is catching on quickly and the idea behind it is quite simple – charge up at home during the day and then take your car out for a spin in the evening.
6) Heating water – Solar panels can be used to heat up your swimming pool or even with a boiler. This is great for those who are tired of heating their water the old fashioned way and it can help you cut back on your energy usage significantly.
7) Air conditioning – Since solar panels capture energy from the sun, they make a great addition to an air conditioning unit. The panels will take the heat out of your house or business and then blown it outside through the ac system.
8) Satellites – You might not realize this but satellites need to run on solar power in order to stay operational as they orbit around earth. It is actually one of their biggest expenses too. You can actually contract a company to send their equipment up in order to generate electricity for the satellite.
9) Charge your car – A number of years ago, it was actually illegal to charge a car with solar power. Now people are doing it all over the place by using equipment such as folding portable panels that can be used nearly anywhere
The different types of solar:
PV solar panels: are made up of photovoltaic cells, which collect light from the sun in order to convert it into electricity. The photo above shows tri-energised crystal silicon cells used to generate solar energy through a process called the photovoltaic effect. This is where sunlight hits the cells and causes them to generate an electrical current which can then be converted into electricity.
Monocrystalline solar panels: are made of a single type of silicon crystal that absorbs light most efficiently, producing more power from the same sized panel than polycrystalline or amorphous solar panels. Monocrystalline silicon solar cells are typically made from large single-crystal boules that are slowly melted and ‘cast’ into their final form, then ground by diamond saws to the required size.
Polycrystalline Silicon solar panels: are made from cast material and require no purification or lengthy growth time. They are made by literally ‘melting’ the silicon in a quartz crucible, which is then poured into molds. Polycrystalline panels consist of interconnected solar cells called “solar chips” or wafers. Because they are not purified and grown like monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline cells are less expensive to produce.
Amorphous Silicon solar panels: are made by purifying silicon that is heated and then melted into a liquid, spinning it around as it cools to form thin “solar ribbons” or films. The ribbons are cut and polished into flat solar cells which are connected together with wire leads on one side and an encapsulant on the other. Amorphous silicon panels are cheaper to produce than monocrystalline or polycrystalline but they have a lower conversion efficiency of around 10-15%. They don’t require any purification, quartz crucibles, or lengthy growth time either.
Crystalline Silicon :(monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous) can also be doped with other elements to enhance its properties.
Polycrystalline Silicon: is often ‘doped’ by adding Boron atoms which increases the conductivity of the silicon film (increasing efficiency), reduces resistance and improves stability.
Why Are Solar Panels So Popular?
Many different reasons exist for the increased popularity of solar panels. Like many other products, solar panels are only as good as its usefulness to the consumer. In recent years, that usefulness has really become useful due to a variety of factors including cost savings and incentives from local governments.
“Solar energy is generated 100% by renewable resources like sunlight and wind, which are considered cleaner than fossil fuels.”
“Solar power will continue to be a popular option for homeowners as long as it continues to become cheaper and more efficient. With the cost of solar panels dropping significantly over the past few decades, solar energy is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to traditional forms of electricity production”.
Although solar technology has not reached a point where it is capable of providing the majority of electricity in “grid-tied” homes, many homeowners have been taking advantage of incentives to make their residences more self sufficient.
What Makes Solar Panels Worth It?
Solar energy is definitely worth it, because there are many benefits that we take for granted. Electric bills have been increasing over the years, but with solar power, households will no longer need to pay regular electricity tariffs. Solar Panels make financial sense if you live in a place where there is plenty of sunlight. Read on to know how much do solar panels cost and why are they worth it!
If the growing costs of electricity has you worried, then investing in solar power will certainly ease your burden. Especially because with everyday that passes, we see more and more people talking about solar energy and how it can save you money.
There are many benefits to using solar panels for your home. These include:
-Increased safety :– Solar Panels have no moving parts, so they do not experience wear and tear like other generators would. This means that the power supply will be more reliable and safe than the standard electricity grid.
–Financial security :– Our electricity bills are on the rise, which means that you may find yourself shelling out more money for power than you would have decades ago. However, solar power turns all of this around! You’ll be able to save a very large sum every month and see quite a difference in your finances within your first year.
–Environmental security:– The amount of pollution that is released into the atmosphere because of the gas and coal that traditional power generators need to generate power can be detrimental to our environment and health. With solar panels, you will actually be helping keep the environment cleaner for everyone!
-Improved safety :– Solar Panels are great for safety reasons as well. If you have a natural gas generator for power, there’s always the issue of leaks and explosions. This is not even to mention the fire hazards that come with using wood for homes in cold areas. With solar panels, there are no worries about potential harm to your home or family!
Pros and cons of solar energy
Solar panels have been around for a long time, but they are still one of the most innovative energy solutions when it comes to property owners. Some pros and cons may come with solar power stations:
-Pros include that you can save money on your electric bill by being more self sufficient in producing electricity
-Cons might be that installing or repairing these types of units is an expensive endeavor.
|Pros of Solar Energy||Cons of Solar Energy|
|Lower your electric bill||Not ideal if you're about to move|
|Improve the value of your home||Finding local solar installers can be difficult
|Reduce your carbon footprint||Solar Energy Storage is Expensive|
|Combat rising electricity costs||Weather Dependent|
|Earn money back on your investment||Doesn't work for every roof type
|Renewable Energy Source||Weather Dependent|
|Diverse Applications||Solar Energy Storage is Expensive|
|Low Maintenance Costs||Uses a Lot of Space|
|Technology Development||Associated with Pollution|
|Solar power is low-emission||lack of consistency and reliability.|
|suitable for remote areas||Panel deterioration|
|Solar power provides green jobs.||Cost.|
|Solar panels contain no moving parts and thus produce no noise||Roof considerations|
|In the long run, solar power is economical||Solar doesn't work at night|
|Solar power can mean government tax credits.||Solar panels are not attractive|
|Solar power is reliable.||You can't install a home solar system yourself|
|Solar power conserves foreign energy expenditures.||My roof isn't right for solar|
|Reduce The Cost Of Your Energy Bill||Solar hurts the environment|
|Renewable Energy Source||Not all solar panels are high quality|
Top ADVANTAGES OF SOLAR PANELS
- Reduce The Cost Of Your Energy Bill
- Renewable Energy Source
- Increase Your Property Value
- Environmentally Friendly
- Wide Range Of Solar Products
- Low Maintenance Costs
- Homeowners Can Become Energy Independent
- Excess Solar Can Be Sold To The Grid
- Return On Investment
- Get Rewarded By The Government
- Power Can Be Stored And Used At Night
- Solar Panels Have Long Lasting Warranties
DISADVANTAGES OF SOLAR PANELS
1. High Upfront Cost
2. The Size Of System Is Dependent On Your Available Space
3. Requires Sunny Weather To Work Best
4. Manufacturing Of Solar Panels Can Harm The Environment
5. Low Energy Conversion Rate
6. Cannot Be Used At Night
7. Solar Panels Are Fixed At Their Installed Location
8. Government Rebates May Not Be There Forever
Consider Solar Energy Today
Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of what some of the main benefits of solar energy are. If you’d like more eco-friendly tips, don’t forget to check out the rest of our content.