From using lamps and candles to light our way during the night, we can now use energy-powered light sources thanks to our advancing technological innovations and scientists. Energy sources can either use non-renewable resources like fossil fuels, including coal and petroleum, or renewable energy sources such as geothermal, hydro dams, wind panels, and solar power.
Non-renewable resources are much cheaper, so most residential and commercial estates use them. But, the increasing demand and manufacturing procedures have caused tremendous damage to the environment. During the manufacturing procedures, loads of carbon dioxide get released into the sky, altering the climate.
For this reason, residential homes and commercial establishments are embracing renewable resources. Commonly used sustainable energy is solar power. What exactly is solar power?
Solar power is heat harnessed from the sun by solar technologies. The heat is converted into energy which is then used to generate electricity providing light sources and heating for industrial, domestic, and commercial use.
2 Types of solar energy technologies and methods:
Photovoltaic is an instrument that generates electricity directly from the sun using semiconducting devices. It equips solar modules that contain solar cells responsible for inducing electrons to flow through the circuits and powering electrical appliances and machines.
Photovoltaics can be installed by mounting them on the ground, rooftop, floor, or wall. The mount can be designed with a solar tracker to follow the sun’s direction, or it can be fixed.
2. Concentrated Solar Thermal Power
A concentrated solar thermal power system employs mirrors for reflection. The mirrors concentrate the sunlight onto the receiving panels converting them into energy which heats the fluid in the receiver. This method is commonly used in industrial operations such as food processing, water desalination, mineral processing, etc.
Thermal power is the heat harnessed from the sunlight. It is responsible for spinning turbines and power technological engines to generate electricity.
Solar Power installation
1. Site inspection
An inspection will determine whether an organization, house or commercial establishment has the legal papers to proceed with the installment. Here the essential factors that need to be evaluated:
Whether to proceed with the procedure or not is up to the location of the building. Ideally, a building should be located in an area where it gets enough sunlight so that solar panels could also get the maximum exposure to generate electricity. Tall trees, buildings, and other obstructions could hinder this procedure. Seek an expert solar installation service provider to remedy such a problem or if your area is suitable for solar installation.
B. Roof condition
A solar panel can be heavy with a regular weight of 20 kg hence the need for inspection. The roof’s condition may not be suitable for installment so before purchasing or pushing through the procedure, make sure your roof is not old or damaged. Replacing and repairing your roofs can save you the trouble of canceling the operation.
C. Area size
The size of the roof, wall, or ground is the basis of the possible number of solar panels installed along with the design suitable in the area.
Commercial buildings, industrial buildings, and residential homes vary in their electricity usage. The amount used in each will impact the size and design of the solar power installment.
With this information, experts will be able to note and discuss with you how to best proceed with the solar power installment.
2. Creating a master plan
A master plan will serve as a guide that contains the structures and design of solar power. The master plan will provide the owner a glimpse and an idea of how it is done or if it fits his choice or request criteria.
3. Construction and installment
The installment process can take up a lot of time with the setting up of scaffoldings, solar power mount installment, solar power panel installment, careful wiring, inverter installment, and so on. Smaller areas can take up at least 2 to 4 weeks of construction, while more prominent and more complex buildings can take several months to finish.
5. Testing and Commissioning
After the long installment and construction process, your installer will have to test and run the solar power to ensure the procedure was successful. This last step is the confirmation process if the installment went according to plan and that you can now use solar energy.
Solar Power Maintenance
1. Clean your solar panels
The regularity of cleaning your solar power will depend on the type that you have. Ideally, once a year or two is enough. Solar panels can be delicate and easily scratched, so make sure to use abrasive soap and materials such as a sponge, biodegradable soap (preferably liquid soap), and soft rags.
Also, you can use a hose to run down water on the surface to remove the grime and dirt that has accumulated on them. Or, you can also opt to hire professional solar panel cleaners so they can take better care of them, especially if your solar power area is vast and more extensive.
2. Keep them away from the shade
Solar panels can become inefficient when they are kept in the shade and are unable to absorb sunlight. Make sure there are no obstructions around that could cover them.
3. Consistent monitoring
Consistent monitoring will tell you whether your solar panels are still in good condition, needs replacement or repair. Keep an eye on your solar inverters. If it stops flashing green lights, that is already an indication you need to call your solar panel installer.
4. Hire the right professional to clean your panels
Maintaining your solar panel is crucial to keep them in good condition. It will help preserve their longevity and from damage. Professional solar panel cleaners are equipped with the proper knowledge and methods for maintaining them, so it would be best to seek their help. Furthermore, you will have to do some research before trusting a professional to ensure the quality of work.
Advantages of Using Solar Power
1. Reduces pollution
Using solar power helps reduce pollution. Unlike non-renewable resources, it does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing highly to climate change, a colossal concern. Not to mention the destruction caused by mining, drilling, and other activities that pollute water sources and destroy the forests.
Climate change produces webs of detrimental impacts such as extinction, endangered species, drought, and stronger and more frequent typhoons. The introduction and application of renewable energy sources such as solar power has and will reduce this problem. If the government allows total usage of renewable resources, then a promising sustainable future is guaranteed.
2. Conserves resources and stable pricing
Solar power is a renewable resource that does not require a long and complex manufacturing process, unlike non-renewable resources. Apart from conserving natural resources, it also generates free electricity that can last up to 40 years with the proper maintenance. In this regard, the solar power pricing in the market remains stable.
While non-renewable energy relies on the raw materials undergoing laborious and complex processes before used, this affects the demand and supply in the market and the massive impact on the price. With the rising population and demand for this fuel, resources are already depleting fast, so it is no surprise if the price is also going up.
3. Job and economic opportunities
Solar power offers not only beneficial factors for its users but also to other people. It opens opportunities for companies to open, such as companies responsible for the installment and construction services. In addition, it paves the way for hardware stores to sell solar power materials. With all the companies opening up, it provides employment opportunities. People will be employed for cleaning solar panels, installment and construction, and other possible job entries.
4. Reduces electricity bill
Domestic, industrial, and commercial solar installation can bring immense benefits. On top of it, all is the drop of electrical bills or none at all. Since solar electricity comes for free, you can cancel your connection to electric companies. Although, this can depend on your location and the amount of electricity your household or commercial establishments consume.
Or, you can also use both and concentrate the use of solar power on appliances that consume too much electricity.
5. Low Maintenance Cost
Solar powers don’t need a lot of maintenance. You need to follow a continuous monitoring schedule at least once in 3 months or after a natural calamity such as a strong storm and heavy rains for damage check. Cleaning them at least once or two a year can also keep them in good condition. You can either hire professional solar panel cleaners, or you can equip yourself with sufficient knowledge on how to clean your panels.
Disadvantages of Solar Power:
1. Weather Dependent
Since solar powers rely on sunlight exposure, it will not provide you much light once the sun goes down or during consistent rains and cloudy seasons. Your solar power panels won’t generate much energy unless you equip them with a large battery bank or charging systems which are additional expenses.
2. Costly initial set-up
Solar power installation can be expensive. Various materials need to be purchased for the installment procedure, such as solar panels, batteries, solar inverter, wiring, etc. Moreover, the solar power installers charge expensively for their labor. And the longer their labor is the charge increases along with it.