Thursday, January 21, 2016

Some Facts That You Should Know about Solar Energy

Solar energy facts can be mind-blowingly interesting. In this world of ever-developing technology, it is no surprise finding all sorts of technologies even for alternative energy. Solar energy is one of the most promising prospects in its field. Understanding how to harness its power can be our key to unlock a better and cleaner future of our energy sources. This article will explain several interesting facts about solar power that you might have never heard of before. Hopefully, this article can change your perspective on solar energy and give you better understanding on how the alternative energy works.

Some facts That You Need to Know about Solar Energy

Solar energy facts

1. Solar power has an incredible amount of potential

When it comes to solar energy, we are talking about a massive kind of power. If we were about to sum up all of the absorbed solar power in this planet’s atmosphere, we will get 10^18 joules of energy. This amount of power is equivalent to the size of 2011 Japan’s Tohoku earthquake but think of 2.7 million of earthquakes instead of just one. It is also 8,000 times bigger than the energy consumption of people in the whole world. So we’re talking about that big of amount. Sadly, it is impossible to harness such amount of energy to the fullest. Realistically speaking, we cannot fully unlock its whole potential with our current technology.

2. It promotes green technology and eco-friendliness, BUT…

Solar energy is definitely greener than any other conventional methods of generating usable energy. Energy sources such as coal and fossil fuels are pale in comparison to solar power. But, here’s a catch; the production of solar panel equipment are still not very eco-friendly. In fact, greenhouse gases emissions do take place when the equipment of solar panels are manufactured. The same thing can also be said to recycling and disposing its by-products. With each manufacturing of powerful equipment, there will be consequences to that. This is something that still presents problems to most solar technologies.

3. Aircraft powered by solar energy!

This one is already a thing. NASA has been working on it ever since 1980’s. Helios Prototype, Pathfinder, and its more developed version, Pathfinder plus are results of this. The Helios Prototype managed to set up the altitude record up to 96,863 ft. back in 2001. It is the highest peak of altitude this kind of aircraft has managed to reach so far.

4. Nuclear Fusion=Solar Energy 

Nuclear energy is a name used to describe methods of harnessing energy via processes of nuclear fission and fusion. Conventional reactors of nuclear power depends on uranium atoms fission to generate heat that could be converted into electricity. Such fission releases a large amount of heat, but it is still pale in comparison to the fusion’s potential. Imagine the energy used to power the stars and our sun. That is how big the result of fusion could be. You can even say that solar power is like the holy grail of energy sources. It can generate a big, long-lasting energy sources for all of our needs.

5. But the sun is not eternal!

That’s true. But you don’t need to worry much about it. When the energy of the sun depletes, it will turn the fiery orb into a massive giant that will swallow earth (and surrounding planets, really). But it is still long way to go before it happens. We have about 5 until 6 billion years top before our sun met its demise.
Solar energy facts

All in All…
Our sun is a great source of energy! And there has been plenty of technologies developed to harness such power. Yet, we are still long way to go from ideal. Thus concludes our article about solar energy facts today. Hopefully, in later years, we get to witness a better version of this technology! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Solar energy advantages and disadvantages are something that should be considered. After all, solar power is the new revolutionised technology in the department of alternative energy. By harnessing electricity using the energy gained from the sun, we are constantly closer to a more energy-efficient future. This technology use photovoltaic cells for converting sun rays into usable energy. The cells itself utilise a semi-conductor in order to absorb the sun’s radiation, before turning into electricity from electrons the conductor emits. By understanding how this technology work as well as both of its pros and cons, we can learn more about it. The future of the next generations rest in our hands. If we can somehow develop a better and more efficient use of energy, why not? This article will give all there’s to be known about solar energy’s pros and cons as well as how it works.

How Does Solar Power Work?

solar energy advantages disadvantages

How come it is possible to convert sunshine into electricity? To answer that, we need to look at some of the overview of solar power facts, its process and equipment. The components of solar power technology are:

Solar panels. This is a very crucial part to most solar technologies. The panels are created using special kind of cells called photovoltaic. Throughout the day, these panels are responsible of converting sunshine into direct current of electricity.

Solar inverter. This is another important component to solar power technology. It functions as a converter of direct current into alternating electricity current.

Electrical panel. After the DC is inverted into AC, the electricity then will be delivered to this panel to power up your appliances and lightning. You may call this panel electrical breaker box.

Utility metre. This metre essentially serves as means of measurement. It measures your usage of energy. When the equipment generates more power than you currently need, it will go backward. This excessive solar power will reduce the amount of nightly energy you used.

Utility grids. You will still be needing solar power at night. This is the component that stores the energy for night uses.

Monitoring system. As its name implies, it constantly tracks down the production of energy and its use. It is meant to ensure that the whole system works in order. If there is ever a problem, it will alert the person in charge of monitoring it.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power

solar energy advantages disadvantages

First of all, let’s start with the advantages of solar energy. Not only this energy is sustainable in the long run, it is renewable until our sun dies in the billions of years. While it can generate large amount of electricity, it could also be used for simple purposes such as heating water. The great thing about solar energy is that it also requires very minimum maintenance. After implementation and optimisation, these technologies are reliable for a long time. Not to mention, solar panels also work silently, so you don’t need to worry about sound pollution, and the tax credits are also generous in many places too. All in all, it is beneficial to our long-term wellbeing as we rely more on a cleaner, more efficient energy.

Of course, all of those sweet advantages are not without its downs. The main cons of solar energy is that it is still very limited at night. It goes without saying that we cannot recreate similar effect of solar energy at day to solar energy at night. There is a storage for solar heat acquired during daytime, but it only works so much. There are still many flaws that prevent this technology from reaching its potential. Hopefully, overtime we can minimize this disadvantages and improve our solar technology. That sums up solar energy advantages and disadvantages. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Passive Solar Energy

There are some passive solar energy advantages and disadvantages to think about. Being one of the latest developments in the field of alternative energy, passive solar energy can be a promising prospect for a better future. Before we discuss about the pros and cons, it is important to know that passive solar energy is technology or ability to use sunlight as a source of electricity. One of the main characteristics of this technology is that it does not need machines to utilize the usable energy from sunlight. Typically, having a solar panel, an inverter, and batteries would be essential if you wish to produce solar power. However, all of these are expensive. Therefore, passive solar power is developed to help reduce the expense and promoting eco-friendly energy.  

Where Can Passive Solar Energy Be Used?

Passive solar power is commonly used in the apartments and buildings’ surfaces. They can be used to provide simple necessities such as water heating and hallway lighting. At its present stage, this technology can only generate low energy for the users’ simple needs. However, even though it is not much, it is extremely eco-friendly and can help you save money too. With the increasing demands and practice of go green, it is not uncommon to find this technology installed in man places. Many designers have started to implement it into their designs while keeping the expenses low. However, like any other technology, it also has its own ups and downs. The following are some of the pros and cons of using passive solar power.

Passive solar energy advantages and disadvantages

The Pros of Passive Solar Energy

As explained earlier, the technology is one of the most environmentally friendly methods of producing and using electricity. Eventually, we cannot always depend on fossil fuels to go on. With the ever-increasing demands of electricity, it is necessary to develop all the better means of producing alternative energy.

The required materials are not very costly. This method does not need inverters or all of the expensive solar panels to make it work. Even when there is only partial shades of sun, it may work just as well.

Also, in settings like an apartment, sharing expenses to support common facilities’ energy can be irritating. Think of all the expenses that go for corridor lighting. Yet, it is important to all of the tenants so it had to be paid in one way or another. The thing is, such needs can be easily solved with the power of passive solar energy. After all, they are not as costly as typical solar technology and they can cater to such necessities just fine.

Passive solar energy is also extremely convenient to have in remote areas. Installing a normal solar energy system can be a hassle, especially if you live in a secluded place. Passive solar energy saves you the time and energy to do that.

The Cons of Passive Solar Energy

Every technology has their own downsides and here are the ones belong to the Passive Solar System.
First of all, not everyone can manage and maintain the implementation of the passive solar system into condos and apartments. The reason for this is because it takes a special Engineering expertise in order to master one. You might need to research and plan a lot of you need to incorporate this particular system because it is not as easy as it seems.

The usage is even more difficult than the implementation. It even takes expert engineer a long time to pull off. Just imagine that the effort that common people need to do to utilise it.

Last but not least, not all solar systems are created the same. For instance, if one solar technology works well in the weather of Florida, it probably won’t work just as well in Miami. So, it is important to conduct a lot of research to learn whatever needs to be learn in implementing passive solar system.
That concludes our list of passive solar energy advantages and disadvantages. No technology is perfect, but they can always be developed over time!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Everything You Need to Know about Concentrated Solar Power

Concentrated solar power is one of the rapidly growing technologies in the field of alternative energy. It is a system generating solar energy by using lenses or mirror to concentrate a large solar thermal power onto smaller areas. When this concentrated rays are converted into heat, usable electricity could be generated. There are many other similar technologies that harness the energy of the sun into a usable form of energy for mankind’s most important needs: electricity. However, concentrated solar power takes the cake. You can even say that the development of this particular technology is crucial to the future of clean, efficient energy. This article will explain things worth to be known about CSP and how it may benefit us as a whole.

Is CSP Just The Technology We Need to Save Humanity?

Concentrated Solar Power

Many scientists have dubbed CSP as a “humanity-saving technology”. Or at least, it has the potential to be one. This technology may unlock our future of clean energy and make solar into a base-load generator. At the moment, it is only limited to the position of a sporadic energy contributor. If we can somehow solve technological, financial, and regulatory hindrance along the way, we can make such goal come true. Centre for American Progress estimated that concentrated solar energy can generate up to 16 gigawatts of baseload energy worldwide within several years. Compared to any other technologies of similar field, CSP promises a larger investment return as well as lesser impact on environments. However, as explained earlier, it still faces a lot of problems on the way, hurdles that we cannot quite overcome yet.

So is CSP the humanity-saving technology we all need? The answer is yes. To further elaborate the point, we will explain how CSP is different than any other alternative energy technology. Unlike wind-based technologies or solar photovoltaic, the electricity of CSP is generated using heat. This is beneficial because any excessive output could be stored for later usage without having to depend too much on intermittent sources. Storing heat as energy sources is also twenty up to one-hundred times more effective, speaking in both terms of financial and efficiency matters.

The Problems That Concentrated Solar Power Have to Face

While it’s true that CSP offers a promising prospect of efficient, clean energy, it is not without its struggles. In fact, this technology faces similar problems to many other methods of generating alternative energy. There are still a lot of significant regulatory and market challenges that prevent it from showing its full potential, such as:

1. The financing costs drive higher rates of loan interest, based on risk perceptions of investors.
2. It is still quite costly in comparison to most projects using fossil fuels
3. The sufficient access of transmission is also still very lacking
4. There is also a complex reviewing process that stems from overlapped authorities on regulations.

There are many other similar problems that obstruct the success of this project. However, those are the gist of it. Basically, we still cannot get a pass to the hurdle of financial and regulatory matter. Then again, there are also concerns of technical matters involving proper equipment. If we can somehow fix these problems, it is possible to implement concentrated solar power as our main base of energy sources.

Solar Energy Disadvantages

Disadvantages of solar energy although keep on being debated; they are needed to be studied and aware of. People nowadays become smarter and smarter in choosing things to fulfill their needs. They do not only choose cheap and effective home appliances but also great but efficient sources of energy. This is when solar energy becomes popular. It is now only because its abundance, cheapness and availability, but also its environmentally friendly system. However, is true solar system can really answer our current issue? It is true that solar energy can help us in daily life, such as for heating swimming pool; running calculators; producing electricity and even for cooking. Let’s get to know about solar energy further.

Consider these things well before installing solar panels

Disadvantages of solar energy

As mentioned earlier, although we can save more cash every month because we do not have to pay the electricity bills, but the installation of solar energy is expensive. The purchasing as well as the installation becomes the very first disadvantage of solar energy. The solar panels, although they are supported by government, but they still cannot be efficient. When it is calculated, we might need ten to fifteen years to break even with our first investment. The location for installing the solar panels is the second disadvantage of solar energy

How about your house? Is it in the area which is open enough to sun light? If your house is surrounded by many trees or high buildings, you are going to need more panels in order to generate electricity enough for your home. This can be worse if you stay in a country like England. It can be foggy and cloudy during the day. The cloud and the fog decrease the solar energy effectiveness. Plus, the photovoltaic panels, the panels used for generating solar energy, are made of toxic metals, such as silicon and mercury. Although solar energy is said to be environmentally friendly, but it is not completely true.

Is it true that solar energy is efficient, reliable and easy to install?

Let’s get real. We cannot absorb all sun light during the day. We might only be able to get about 40% of sun light. It means that the rest 60% is wasted and is not processed. This issue has been overcome lately. The advancing technology has increased the solar energy efficiency up to 80%. However, it also means that increasing cost cannot be avoided for the solar panels. And then, when it comes to reliability, it seems that we cannot depend solely on this system. Storm and hurricane sometimes cannot be predicted. 

Depending only on the solar energy is not a good idea to get the lamps on, especially in the evenings. Although it is quiet easy to install, and it also does not need large space for home, the installation of solar energy needs huge space for big companies. So, it is clear that going with solar energy definitely needs high cost, and it’s one of disadvantages of solar energy.

Solar Energy: Is It Beneficial?

Solar energy pros and cons are the things we need to know before judging and giving value. Along with the increasing needs, people tend to choose something practical and yet cheap and effective. We are now in the era where effectiveness and speed as well as efficiency become the top qualifications demanded. Starting from gadgets to home appliances and daily accommodation, people start to think smart.

Solar energy becomes one of alternative energies chosen by some people. Besides renewable, silent, environmentally friendly and abundant, solar energy is also reducing the costs of electricity and getting support from government financially. However, there are also the things we need to consider, such as the high cost, the space, the material and the intermittent.

Solar energy pros and cons

Solar energy pros

Solar energy is said to be renewable. It means that solar energy will not run out. We have it every day, although in some countries is quiet difficult to get. But most countries have it abundantly. We don’t have to worry the sun will disappear. Actually, some scientists have predicted that around five billion years from now, the sun will swallow out earth. Nevertheless, that is not the thing we should be worried about right now.  We have the solar energy that is beyond our thought. The world gets 120.000 terawatts from the sunlight. It is, as the matter of fact, twenty thousand times more than it needs to supply.

Besides renewable and abundant, solar energy is also sustainable. It means that there is now way that our generation will run out of sun light in the future. When it comes to the effect to our environment, solar energy is said to be the best in dealing with climate crisis. Moreover, solar energy supports us to be independent, not hang our needs solely on non-renewable sources of energy. One data from one research shows that by going solar, people can save around $100 every month. Now we can count the amount of extra cash by using solar energy.

Solar energy cons

The cost of solar energy process is still debatable. Even it will not run well without interference from the government. Incentives are needed. Otherwise, solar energy will only become a discourse. Shortly, solar energy is impossible without incentives from government. The next issue is that intermittence of solar energy. Our access to sunlight is of course limited. We can only get sunlight in day time. It is one reason why solar energy does not become the first choice when it deals with energy demand. Although it has fewer issues than wind power, solar energy still cannot become prime option. Moreover, solar energy also needs high cost technology, such as batteries to make it stable. The batteries can smoothen the load as well as the demand. But then again, the cost is expensive. 

Although it is said to be environmentally friendly, but solar energy also causes pollution from its activity in the installation and transportation of solar power system. Do you still consider going with it after reading solar energy pros and cons?