Solar energy is derived from the sun’s radiation. The sun is a powerful energy source, and this energy source can be harnessed by installing solar panels. Did you know that the energy it provides to the Earth for one hour could meet the global energy needs for one year? However, we are able to harness only 0.001 percent of that energy.
There is a reason why solar energy has become a trending topic when talking about renewables. While it has been widely criticised for being expensive or not very efficient, solar energy has now proved to be extremely beneficial - not only for the environment but also financially speaking. Additionally, due to the higher demand, the technology has been improved considerably, turning into a significantly efficient source of clean energy.
Among all the benefits of solar panels, the most important thing is that solar energy is a truly renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy. Solar energy will be accessible as long as we have the sun, therefore sunlight will be available to us for at least 5 billion years when according to scientists the sun is going to die.
Since you will be meeting some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar system has generated, your energy bills will drop. How much you save on your bill will be dependent on the size of the solar system and your electricity or heat usage.
Solar energy systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean, so cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. Also, as there are no moving parts, there is no wear and tear. The inverter is usually the only part that needs to changed after 5-10 years because it is continuously working to convert solar energy into electricity (solar PV) and heat (solar thermal). Apart from the inverter, the cables also need maintenance to ensure your solar power system runs at maximum efficiency. So, after covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect very little spending on maintenance and repair work.
The initial cost of purchasing a solar system is fairly high. This includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and for the installation. Nevertheless, solar technologies are constantly developing, so it is safe to assume that prices will go down in the future.
Although solar energy can still be collected during cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system drops. Solar panels are dependent on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy. Therefore, a few cloudy, rainy days can have a noticeable effect on the energy system. You should also take into account that solar energy cannot be collected during the night. On the other hand, if you also require your water heating solution to work at night or during wintertime, thermodynamic panels are an alternative to consider.
The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you will need, as you want to collect as much sunlight as possible. Solar panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like to have. An alternative is to install some of the panels in your yard but they need to have access to sunlight. If you don’t have the space for all the panels that you wanted, you can opt for installing fewer to still satisfy some of your energy needs.