The 2003 Northeast blackout affected 45 million people in eight states. Those using alternative energy sources such as solar panels have been able to benefit from their independence from the grid. No food spoiling in fridges, no sitting in the dark for them. Röhrenkollektor The Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank, has reported that power consumption and generation have been steadily increasing, resulting in increased stress on a system that isn't designed to handle such a large load, meaning many people are turning to security concerns as well Turn to solar panels for financial and environmental reasons.
Solar energy is "green" and renewable energy and emits no harmful carbon dioxide, meaning it's a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Almost 3000 pounds of CO2 per year can be saved by a typical home solar energy system, which amounts to around 30 tons over its lifetime. These clean, green technologies will be at the heart of the next industrial revolution, according to Tony Juniper, Director of Friends of the Earth.
Using solar energy drastically reduces electricity costs and is one of the most common reasons to choose it. The federal and state governments offer solar subsidies that help compensate for the acquisition costs of a solar power system. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides two ways to obtain a tax credit for solar energy from the federal government. Solar energy rebates are also offered by more than 50% of US states.
An average of 164 watts of solar energy per square meter is delivered from the sun to the earth's crust. If we placed enough solar panels in the Sahara to cover just one percent of it, we could generate enough electricity to power the entire planet. This abundance of solar energy means there is more than we will ever need. But because the energy emitted by the sun arrives as a mixture of light and heat, we can't use it directly to power a car or a computer. This is why solar panels were invented - to convert the sun's energy into a form we can use, like electricity.
Any additional electricity you generate from your solar panels when connected to the grid will be paid for by the utility company. Net metering is legal in 30 states to account for electricity production from a solar power system and to allow utilities to purchase excess energy from homeowners. The most common option is a single, reversible counter. As a solar energy system produces electricity, the kilowatts are first used to meet on-site energy needs. Excess electricity is then fed into the grid and reverses the electricity meter instead of being stored in a battery. The additional kilowatts are credited to the homeowner at the end of each metering period.
Excess electricity can be stored for consumption on cloudy days. The ability to store excess power in batteries means you don't need to be connected to the grid, even on cloudy days. In self-sufficient solar power systems, batteries are charged with excess electricity for night-time consumption. The life cycle of a battery determines its suitability for use with solar cells. The amount of power required, along with the size of the battery, determines the number of hours the power will last when there is no sunlight.
How is solar power produced? To generate solar power, you need a solar panel, which consists of one or more solar cells. When sunlight falls on a solar cell, the cell absorbs light particles (called photons). Each photon contains energy, and when absorbed, the photon releases an electron in the solar cell material. Electrical wiring on either side of the cell allows current to flow as the photon is absorbed. With this method, the solar cell generates electricity that can be used immediately or stored in a battery for later use.
Solar modules consist of solar cells. A single solar cell cannot produce enough electricity for most purposes; Therefore, several are connected together in solar panels, as they naturally generate more electricity together. Solar panels come in many types and sizes, the most typical of which produce up to 50W of electricity and are made from silicon solar cells. Interconnected solar panels produce even more electricity.
A solar panel is a sizable flat, rectangular shape, usually somewhere between the dimensions of a radiator and a door. Electricity collectors, called solar cells, form solar panels. A solar cell is typically octagonal and blue and black, about the size of the palm of your hand. Just like the cells in a battery, these cells are designed to generate electricity. However, these cells use sunlight instead of chemicals to create electricity. Solar panels are also called photovoltaic modules (or PV modules), which comes from a combination of the Greek word for light and the electricity pioneer Alessandro Volta.
You may be curious about how sunlight is converted into electricity. When the sun shines on a solar cell, photons (particles of light) are shot at the cell's top surface. Each particle of light then carries its energy down through the cell. The photons then transfer their energy to electrons in the bottom layer of the cell. The electrons use this energy to escape into the circuit by jumping the barrier into the upper layer. The movement of these electrons through the circuit creates the power for our lights and appliances.
Photovoltaic cells generate electricity from sunlight, but there are other methods of harvesting solar energy. You can also purchase solar thermal panels that heat water instead of generating electricity. Solar thermal modules work differently than PV modules and do not require electricity. Although similar to solar panels, thermal solar panels have black glass that absorbs the sun's heat, rather than light particles being captured by solar cells. Hot water is generated by passing water between the solar panels, heating it up, after which it is fed into the water system and comes out naturally as hot water from the taps.
It is incredible to imagine that the energy transferred from the sun in just one hour is more than the whole world uses in a year. Designing (or remodeling) a building to harness sunlight and heat uses passive solar energy. This can be achieved by insulating your roof more or adding an additional south-facing window. Any "passive" adjustments like this would be installed either when the house was built or during a major renovation. Adding solar panels or other solar panels would be called active solar energy.
Any type of light that hits solar panels can be converted into solar energy, meaning they can still generate some electricity even on a gray day. You can get backup energy (e.g. at night) in two ways. For one, you can request a regular connection to the mains so that this acts as a backup supply when your solar panels are not operational, as they would be after dark. The other option is to store extra power from your solar panels in batteries, which then power your devices and lights during hours of darkness.
In this environment of global warming and dwindling oil resources, it makes sense to focus our awareness on natural and renewable resources. Solar power systems have become the most widely used renewable energy source because they don't rattle and produce no pollutants. Installing photovoltaic (solar) panels while connecting to the grid is the most common way to switch to solar energy. The additional electricity generated by the solar system is then fed into the grid. In this way, the household can be paid for additional electricity produced and can also draw electricity at night.
Water bills can be reduced by 50-70% by using a premium solar water panel system. Aside from the obvious environmental benefits of solar power, it makes financial sense. You can save even more by combining solar water panel and PV panel systems. Installation costs for solar systems are high, although there are various grants to finance solar technology. A significantly cheaper option is to install your own solar panels.
Traditional fuel sources are proving to be more difficult and expensive to use, leading to an increase in the value of solar energy. With global warming and pollution, it is evident that traditional energy sources will no longer be viable. Renewable energy sources are unlimited by definition, unlike fossil fuels. As renewable energy technology matures and the prices of accepted energy sources increase, solar technology is beginning to become more affordable.
Environmentally conscious Hollywood stars like Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom's commitment extends beyond recycling and driving hybrid cars. These players have switched to using solar panels and other renewable energy sources in their homes, thereby reducing their energy consumption. Johnny "Captain Jack Sparrow" Depp 's island in the Bahamas will be powered by solar energy instead of polluting generators. Dallas star Larry Hagman has saved $24,000 a year by switching to solar power, which has increased his electric bill from $37,000 to just $13,000 a year.
Actor Edward Norton was so excited about the solar panels installed in his own home that he partnered with BP to start a program to provide solar power systems to low-income homes in the LA area. Through the BP Solar Neighbors program, low-income households are offered a free solar system every time a celebrity buys one. The project, which is a brilliant idea, has already attracted some of the best Hollywood talent, including Owen Wilson, Alicia Silverstone and Will Ferrell. This project is likely to contribute to the 30% annual growth of BP's solar division.
According to Shell forecasts, around 50% of the world's electricity supply will come from sustainable energy sources in the next 30 years. A great sustainable energy project is shared by some of the world's leading companies including Total, Solarthermie General Electric and BP. BP's recent oil spill has drawn world attention to the increasing demand for alternative energy sources and increased public interest in solar and other renewable energy sources. The devastating effects of the oil spill have led to a significant realignment of investment priorities, with American energy marketing campaigns placing a much greater focus on sustainable energy sources.
The United States is by far the largest consumer of energy in the world. The US accounts for 25% of the world's electricity consumption - even though it only accounts for 5% of the world's population. A 100MW solar plant in Israel will power more than 200,000 people, and they have plans to build an even bigger plant in the future - a 500MW plant. The world's largest solar power system is in Bavaria, around 1/2 of the solar modules produced worldwide are used in Japan. When we look at these facts, we can see how far America has to go to make the most of solar energy.