In a world where all the known fuel sources are quickly depleting, we need to look at different ways to power and sustain our lives. With pollution levels rising slowly and slowly all around the world and the adverse effects being too hard to handle, issues like the Ice Caps melting and the Ozone layer depleting are coming out on the forefront.
Fuels of today, such as petrol and coal have extremely toxic emissions. These are ones that actively harm the atmosphere every time someone usage. It is not a good idea to harm the world more than what is necessary, thus as the Ruling Race of Planet Earth, we must look for other ways to provide for ourselves as well as the next generation that will inherit the earth!
There are various renewable resources available which we fail to or are incapable of fully harnessing right now. Energy generated from Water, Wind, and Heat from the earth’s surface as well as the Sun’s rays fall under the category of being legitimate options. Mankind has been trying to and has been quite successful in converting energy from water falling at a particular speed and force on the turbines. Just like that, Science has also made it possible for the human race to make sure that energy generated by the wind is not lost.
Investing in Solar Panels Today
Similarly the world has started to recognize the solar energy potential. It is not a new process, development in this area begun a long time ago. Let us trace the history of Solar Power first, and then we shall move onto discuss the properties of Powering Homes through Solar Energy.
Developments in the field of solar energy started considerably early, somewhere around the 1860s. It was put into motion because of an over-riding fear that coal, which powered most of the utilities in the then modern society, would be over very soon. Charles Fritts, managed to install the first working prototype of a rooftop Solar array. He did this by preparing Selenium cells which were 1%-efficient. It was set up on the roof of a New York City house in 1884.
The first half of the 20th century saw the research work on alternative power sources completely stopping due to the discovery of new fields of oil (which at that time seemed endless) and coal.
It was estimated by 1974 that around six private residential spaces in the United States of America were actively using functional solar power systems for heavy duty purposes.
The Oil Embargo as well as the Energy Crisis managed to stir the policy makers all around the world and thus there was an active dive into the reorganization of policies in and around energy. The World tried to renew the attention towards renewable sources of energy, developing solar technology was one of the few.
Federal Photovoltaic Utilization Program (USA), The Sunshine Program (Japan) are the two notable initiatives started by Globally leading countries. There was a huge outgrowth of research facilities in places such as the United States (NREL), Japan (NEDO), and Germany (Fraunhofer–ISE). Amidst the 70’s and 80’s there was a rapid growth of the photovoltaic systems in developed nations.
Understanding the Costs for Solar Power for Homes
Considering that we will focus on the aspect of Solar Power in homes, it is important for us to look at the different costs and measures one has to take in order to be able to utilize the finer points of Solar energy. Therefore, when consumption comes into the question, the basic question asked by homeowners is about the Payback Time.
Considering that you buy your electricity off the grid and that is what powers your house, it is necessary to see if the renewable energy is a) affordable and b) it benefits your wallet over the long run as well as the environment.
The Payback time is calculated by the amount of electricity purchased from the grid and see if this specific process does the trick in reducing the consumption from the grid. Most systems in different countries save you a lot yearly as well as pay a huge load in a span of a decade or a half.
In a lot of cases, patterns in the process of generation and that of consumption cannot be distinguished, thus allowing most or all the energy produced to be channeled back into the main power grid. The electricity produced is thus overtly sold, while at times when the grid supplies energy, one has to buy electricity.
To incentivize self consumption, many markets have different prices for selling PV electricity and that of the price of bought electricity. If one of them is considerably lower than the other, it is a steal. Germany and Italy separately fund self consumption incentives. Regulations set on Grid interaction make sure that sufficient protocols are in place which includes limitations of grid feed-in.
Certain regions in Germany employ this technique to deal with the sizable chunks of homes that have remarkable amounts of installed PV set in for consumption. The moment self consumption increases in a system like this, the grid feed-in gets limited without any curtailment, leading to a wastage of electricity.
In order to strike a balance between the generation of electricity as well as consumption of electricity, it is highly important that self consumption be encouraged. You can use batteries along with solar panel to get the best results.
Storage tanks that accumulate Hot Water with the use of electric heating, pumps along with the resistance heaters provide enough caps for self consumption of solar power at a very minimal cost.
Let us look at a couple of appliances that allow us to harness Solar Energy and use it at home:
a) SOLAR POWERED PUMPS
A Pump that runs on an electric charge which is generated and cultivated by PhotoVoltaic panels by the process of trapping sunlight to create charges. It does not use the system where electricity is generated from perishable sources, neither does it use diesel in order for the water pumps to run.
The different mechanisms of the solar powered pumps are what makes it stand apart from the rest. It is undoubtedly more economical mainly because of the very minimal cost for operations as well as maintenance costs. In terms of hitting the environment back with a considerable amount of pollution it has less of an impact on the surroundings than pumps powered by an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).
Solar pumps are thus considered to be useful in areas or places where there is no grid electricity and neither do alternative sources of energy (in particular wind) supply sufficient energy.
The Pump has three major parts – Solar Panels, a Controller and finally the Pump.
The PhotoVoltaic cells manage to trap the heat and convert it into charges to run the pump. Panel sizes depend upon the dimensions of the pump.
Controllers, on the other hand, are necessary to match the output and the input power so that there are no existing lags. They are important also because of their capability to provide a voltage protection. Depending on the current and voltage flow, the controller cuts of charge and grants the machine a longer life.
The pump is thus powered by the PV panels in order to perform the activities you want it to.
b) SOLAR POWERED HOMES
The best way to harness the power of sun and utilise it with utmost ease is powering your own home through it. PhotoVoltaic Arrays have to be set up on the roof of the house or somewhere near, and then the entire circuit of the house needs to be connected to it.
The PV arrays manage to capture sunlight and convert it into specific charges so that electricity can be easily generated. This electrical charge is then moved into an inverter that changes it from Direct Current to Alternating current so that appliances inside the house have access to this and can start functioning.
You can save the charge in batteries and other devices considering the fact that the sun is not always up and shining. Batteries are available to store and later use said charge whenever necessary. The PV cells have the capacity to save and store solar energy at any given point of time, however, they have a limited capacity.
The fuel that now runs your house is thus extremely environment-friendly and does not cause wide spread pollution all around. You are no more a polluting agent in the world!
Installation and Maintenance
Solar Powered Appliances are quite a bit difficult to Install. It is best if a professional undertakes this activity alongside somebody who has a formidable reputation in completing this process. We realize that this is the era for DO-IT-YOURSELF activities, but at the same time, it must always be kept in mind that this is quite an expensive system, especially when being installed. The return is only guaranteed once the setup is done and has been in use for some amount of time.
The moment you are buying a system of this nature, read reviews and ask if references are available. Do not walk out with the product if there is no warranty with it.
Someone who has been on the job for some time now will provide serious advise about what to buy and where to place it for maximum benefits. The panels need to be exposed to the sun much more. The time spent absorbing the sunlight is directly proportional to the amount of electricity generated. Any things that can obstruct your exposure such as trees, sky-scrapers and other tall should be avoided if possible.
Considering the fact that solar technology is a huge investment in the very beginning, installation companies have to offer multiple options for financing in order to spread the costs over a few years so that it is not as big a load.
The Solar system that powers your house, as well as other appliances will not be cost effective from minute one. The idea is to make sure that you persist with its usage, so that the amount you spent on installing this beast is recovered by simply waiting and seeing that the cost for electricity is half of what it used to be off the grid.
Switching to solar energy can reduce the monthly electricity bill up to half of the earlier cost.These Solar Power System is supposed to last for somewhere around 15–20 years all of it depending upon the system that has been bought. Make sure you make the best use of it.