Tag Archive | benefits of solar energy

Residential Solar Panels – Practical Advise For Its Effective Use

Residential Solar Panels are generally built never to output too much power. This only suggests that equipment in need of high energy is required to be used moderately.

Such equipment can include the clothes dryers and even complete electric home heating systems. It might be recommended to run these types of systems making use of common power source for instance gas.

A different solution is to heat up just one space at a time to lower your the power output. Over-loading the solar cells can lead to irreversible problems for the solar panels.

Residential solar panels are no longer simply for households situated in bright territories and they’re gradually getting a lot more very affordable.

An important thing pertaining to residential solar panels is the simple fact that nearly all residence could easily be changed in order to utilize these. Even though households in the bright parts of the US can most profit from solar energy, homes at any place around the nation can easily benefit also.

Solar power systems have become much more budget friendly as well as easily accessible. The truth is, you’ll find solar power panels available on the internet otherwise you could make your own.

Generally, consumers would rather buy solar systems for the residence coming from reputable suppliers as well as contractors.

Solar power systems is getting far more well-known every day due to the fact it could allow you to conserve a substantial sum of money with your monthly power costs.

There are various reasons why solar panels is starting to become much more well-known lately. Realizing all of these reasons allows a person to see why a number of people are opting for the usage of this sort of power in their households.

Solar Energy panels are commonly utilized to turn the power coming from the sun to electrical power which can be utilized in the house.

Solar power is really an inexpensive kind of sustainable energy which ensures that you enjoy consistent, practical as well as dependable electrical power. For those who usually have electrical power shortages along with great monthly electrical charges, solar energy stands out as the best answer.

If the electricity supplier is difficult to rely on and even expensive then it’s wise to buy residential solar panels and become your very own energy provider.

Solar power systems really are all to easy to mount and keep because they are self-contained and also modular. Solar systems could be custom built to suit your individual power needs and also finances.

Dependent upon the kind solar system you decide on, you could offset a few or perhaps your entire energy necessities. Solar panels can be put close to the house utilizing a ground stand, or simply they could be placed on the roof intended for horizontal or simply tilted usage, subject to your home’s roof style.

Together with correct set up, every panel can endure powerful winds and definitely will work effectively for years.

You may also assume that the amount of your property to rise with the inclusion of Solar Panel Systems.

While solar power systems do not really call for very much routine maintenance and also checking, it is frequently recommended to employ an expert from time to time to make sure the panels will be working at optimum capability.

Will We Soon Be Riding on Solar Roads?

The Idea Gains Traction

 Countries—U.S., France, Netherlands—are testing ways to pave roads with solar panels. Their plans have skeptics.
 

Solar is popping up just about everywhere, even landfills and parka pockets. So why not roads? Indeed, solar road projects are gaining interest around the world, and some promise to even charge electric cars while moving.

The Netherlands built the first solar road, a bike path, in 2014. France announced a bolder move in January—over the next five years, it plans to install 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of solar roads, designed to supply power to five million people.

In fact, on December 22, France opened the world’s first solar road for cars, in a Normandy village. The 0.6-mile route in Tourouvre-au-Perche is covered with 2,800 square meters of electricity-generating solar panels. The goal is powering street lighting.

The project, which cost around 5 million Euros, is expected to be used by about 2,000 motorists a day.

German company Solmove aims to bring solar panels to German roads, and Idaho-based Solar Roadways has received three rounds of U.S. government funding (plus $2 million in venture capital) to test its technology.

“We have interested customers from all 50 states and most countries around the world,” says Julie Brusaw, who co-founded Solar Roadways with her engineer husband Scott. She says before hitting the open road, they’re testing their panels in non-critical areas such as parking lots, walkways, and their own driveway.

“We are in talks about some very interesting projects,” she says, noting the Missouri Department of Transportation wants to install the panels at a rest area along the I-70 highway. The couple say their tempered-glass panels offer asphalt-like traction, support the weight of semi-trucks, include LEDs for signage, and contain heating elements to melt snow and ice.

Could solar panels really pave the roads of the future? Proponents see endless possibilities, but others raise questions about cost, efficiency, and durability.

“We just place our solar panels on an existing pavement,” says Jean-Luc Gautier, inventor of the Wattway technology that will be tested this spring in France before its polycrystalline silicon layer is applied to actual roads. Gautier, technical director at construction company Colas, says he was inspired by the fact that roads look at the sky so they can collect solar energy.

Julie and Scott Bursaw, an Idaho couple who co-founded Solar Roadways, poses in front of a prototype for their solar-embedded pavement.

 

PHOTOGRAPH BY SOLAR ROADWAYS

“The sheer amount of surfaces each country devotes to roadways is enormous,” the Bursaws write on their website. “Allowing this space to double as a solar farm could have very positive implications in the battle to put a halt to climate change.” They estimate that their panels, if used in lieu of existing U.S. roads and walkways, could produce more than three times the electricity used in the United States.

Besides, they say their panels could charge electric vehicles, first on solar parking lots. With enough solar highways and cars with the right equipment (to pick up energy from induction plates in the road) they might even be able to charge vehicles while moving.

THE COST CHALLENGE

“In theory, solar PV roadways sound great. The issue is cost.” says Mark Jacobson, an engineering professor at Stanford University who has promoted a plan for powering the U.S. solely with renewable energy. (Read about his blueprint for a carbon-free America.)

“Aside from road dust, particularly black tire dust and diesel exhaust, which will quickly cover a portion of each panel, the continuous traffic covering panels will reduce their solar output,” says Jacobson, adding they’ll likely suffer more wear and tear and need more repairs than other solar panels.

He also says that while they don’t require land acquisition costs, as do solar power plants, their panels cannot be rotated for optimal solar exposure. He expects a solar road won’t be able to compete on cost, but “I’m hopeful it will.”

“Installing photovoltaics in roads seems like a daft idea at first, “says a report last month byIDTechEx, an independent research and consulting firm. “A closer look reveals that most of the problems are easily overcome and even at poor efficiency, that local electricity has viable uses.”

Despite high costs, company chairman Peter Harrop says solar roads might work in places that are putting down roads for the first time. “They need early (technology) adopters like China that want to leapfrog in development.”

In contrast, “I can’t see solar roads in London,” he says, noting the city often digs up its roads for underground repairs.

So far, the Netherlands’ solar path is popular. In its first year, 300,000 bikes and mopeds rode the initial 70-meter (230-foot) stretch connecting two Amsterdam suburbs. Officials say the SolaRoad produced more energy last year than expected—enough to power three households. It’s made of crystalline silicon solar cells, encased in concrete and covered with a translucent layer of tempered glass.

In the U.S., Solar Roadways has received more than $1.5 million from the Department of Transportation over the last six years to develop and test its hexagonal-shaped panels.

“One of the shortcomings Solar Roadways has yet to resolve is the manufacturing process,” two DOT officials wrote in a December post, noting the solar cells are handmade and thus “very costly” to produce. Julie Bursaw says the company’s most recent prototype is less costly to produce, 25 percent more efficident, and easier to install.

The DOT officials, Michael Trentacoste and Robert C. Johns, say the agency has received “a lot of positive feedback” about the project; the company’s promotional video has 21 million views on YouTube. Because the panels can melt snow or keep water from freezing, even with high costs, they say the innovation “could still be useful in smaller areas such as parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and bike lanes.”

This story was originally published on March 10, 2016 and was updated on December 22, 2016 with information about the opening of the solar road in France.

The story is part of a special series that explores energy issues. For more, visit The Great Energy Challenge.

On Twitter: Follow Wendy Koch and get more environment and energy coverage at NatGeoEnergy.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of Solar Energy Sources

Solar energy continues to grow in popularity because it is easier and cheaper than ever to get. There are many choices for solar power to suit the needs of homes and businesses everywhere. It is a good choice because it saves money, helps the environment and uses the sun as an endless source of power.

If you find that you cannot afford solar panels at the moment, you should stay up to date with new products and technologies. Scientists are regularly coming up with new technologies and materials that can be used to build more efficient and affordable panels, which means solar energy should become a more efficient solution in the future.

If you cannot afford to purchase a solar energy system for your entire house, consider using it in just one or two spaces. Solar energy is a great option for heating swimming pools for instance, or bringing additional warmth to a cooler bedroom. You can always start small and purchase more later, as your budget allows.

Once your solar panels are installed, you need to keep track of how much power you are producing and using on a daily basis. Invest in a quality monitoring system and look at the data as often as possible. If you notice your panels are not producing as much energy as usual, it might be time to clean them.

Always check the regulations in your particular area before installing solar energy systems. Many locales make you have specific permits. It would be costly to have to remove them and reinstall them.

The benefits of using solar power can extend into your tax bill. Many areas around the United States are pushing heavily for solar-energy use, and due to this, they are willing to give you a discount on your taxes if you install a system in your home or business.

If you are wondering if solar energy is the right choice for you, why not try leasing a system first. Leasing means paying a much smaller initial cost, which should allow you to start saving within a few months.

Buying a small solar panel system is better than not having one at all. For many people, it is far too expensive to install a system that would power their entire home, but starting small is better than not doing anything. There are many options out there when it comes to size, so check them out.

If you are planning on meeting with a consultant to install a solar panel system, you need to make sure you are prepared. Have a list of all electrical appliances along with their wattage and the number of hours you use them on hand. Any good consultant will need to know this information before a solar panel can be installed.

As you can see, there are many reasons for choosing solar power. The popularity of solar power is due to the rising cost of fossil fuels, the growing trend for going green. Switching to solar power can be very easily accomplished and it is a investment that will continue to pay of for years to come.