The earth receives more than enough energy from the sun in an hour to supply the world’s energy requirement for the whole year.
Unfortunately, only a tiny portion of it is harnessed and the world still relies on power plants that burn fossil fuels. The good thing, though, is that there is a constant increase in demand for solar energy; and over the years of continuous development, solar panels are much cheaper today.
During peak hours, the maximum power density that the sun can give is about 1kW per square meter. In other words, one square meter of solar panel can produce as much as 100 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity in one year. That is enough to power 50,000 houses.
If a solar power plant is build on 1% of the total land area of the Sahara desert, it will satisfy the world’s energy requirement.
The efficiency of solar panels depends on several factors such as pollution, clouds, temperature and atmospheric humidity.
Solar power plants are very similar to other conventional power plants – with one significant difference: The majority of power plants draw their power from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas.
When power plants burn fossil fuels, they produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Solar power plants or solar thermal power plants (or Concentrating Solar Power plants) utilize the power of the sun’s rays to generate electricity.
The process could not be any simpler. The solar panels receive heat from the sun, which will be reflected to the receiver. The receiver converts into steam the concentrated solar energy. The steam is stored on tanks which will be used to turn the turbines and generate electricity.
The whole process does not involve any burning of any fossil fuels. Thus, solar power plants do not contribute to global warming.
The increase in the use of solar energy will bring down the demand for oil.
Today, there are more than 10,000 households with solar energy systems and the number is constantly increasing. If the demand for solar energy as well as other forms of alternative energy, the demand for oil will drop and the cost fuel will likely to follow.
Residential solar energy system can turn your electric meter backwards. Given that you are connected on a power-grid, the excess energy that your solar energy system produces will go to the electric lines to be used by other homes. As a result, any excess energy you give will be reflected on your bills. Your electric supplier will even pay for the electricity you supplied.
Residential solar energy system can save you money.
While the initial cash out for installing solar energy system at home is big, the device will pay for itself in the long run. Not only you will save money on solar energy system, you also help the environment by not contributing to carbon emissions.
Solar energy systems are reliable and can last for a very long time.
PV cells are last from 25 to 40 years. Many manufacturers of solar panels give 25 years product warranty. This is the assurance that solar panels are very dependable.
In addition, solar panels require little or no maintenance and the can be installed on most places where there is sunlight throughout the year.
Green living. Conservation. Renewable energy. These are just some terms that have popped out in the recent years and have become more emphasized not just in books, newspapers, or at schools, but also in our everyday, practical lives. We have continuously looked for energy efficiency services and methods to save on our basic expenses for electricity, water, and food. Austerity has become a code of conduct for most governments and a lifestyle for most households.
Energy efficiency in the GTA is also a hot topic and why not? This is in response to the city’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, relative to 1988 levels. The Energy Efficiency Office (EEO) is responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of an energy efficiency and conservation strategy for Toronto. These strategies include hydro rebates in GTA, Lighting retrofits for Toronto buildings, and Toronto energy efficiency rebates for households.
Living green and contributing to your local government’s energy conservation strategies is all about making the choice to do so and learn more about ways to save energy and lessen our carbon footprint. Right in our very homes we can make changes that will not only save is money, but also can reduce the impact of nasty emissions that contribute to climate change.
Lighting is one good area to start. For an average household, there is about 6% of its budget that goes into lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Good thing is that there are available energy-efficient lighting bulbs or fixtures at your hard ware stores or appliance centers. Also, if your lamps or lights have timers and motion sensors, these can also save you even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.
Water heating is another area where we can cut back a lot of our expenses and energy consumption. It is the second largest energy expense in your homes and typically eats up 18% of your utility bill. Some of the most helpful and effective ways to cut your water-heating bill is to use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient model.
Now, let us tackle the area that uses the most energy and costs more money than any other system in our homes “Heating and Cooling.
Heating and cooling takes up about 54% of your utility bill. But do not worry, no matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have in your house, there are ways to cut back on your expenses and more importantly contribute in energy conservation. Since heating and cooling is a big part of the overall energy consumption in your home, it is advisable to use the “whole-house“ approach in saving energy. For example, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as compared to combining proper equipment maintenance and thermostat settings on your appliances and home equipment. If done properly this strategy can save you anything from 20-50% of your energy bill.
With these simple energy saving methods for your home, you can make sure that you do not only save money, but also help your local government in its campaign for a more energy-efficient city.