Living in a world of technological advancement certainly has its benefits. Technology has changed the way we work, socialize and gather information. However, innovation has its downsides. Increased demand for energy has led to more nuclear power stations and an increase in radioactive waste. Are there alternatives to energy generation with less environmental impact?
Yes! The development of solar power. According to energy.gov, there is enough sunlight generated in an hour and a half to serve the whole world’s energy requirements for a year. It’s hardly surprising that environmentally conscious people are finding ways to utilize a natural energy source. So what should we know about this ingenious new ecosystem service?
How It Works
Solar power creates energy by converting sunlight. It can then fuel power requirements in your home or office. The invention of solar panels has become popular in recent years with many people investing in them at home or at business premises. It’s worthwhile to research the process and compare prices online. There are options to purchase solar panel kits to install yourself or you may want to consider hiring someone, for example, Queensland solar panel installers offer packages that include installation, so if you’re not confident spending time on your roof this may be a good option.
So, how do they work? It’s a complex process, but simply put, solar panels absorb light, generating DC energy and transforming it into usable energy. This is done through the use of solar inverters within the panel. Cool huh? You can then use the converted energy for powering any appliance within your home or office.
If you are thinking of running an eco-friendly home or business, what should you take into account?
- Roof direction
The size of your roof will determine how many panels you need and how much energy you consume. If you have a large usable area on your roof, you can get larger panels, which are cheaper. But if the space is limited or shady, smaller panels are more efficient and save you money. It’s good to establish your motivations for getting solar power before you make your final choice of panels.
Solar panels are most effective when placed on a south-facing roof. The angle is important as the temperature will affect their efficiency. They still work with limited sunshine, so don’t let a gloomy climate or wrong-facing roof put you off, but full sunshine will generate more power. So if you live in a country that basks in sunshine for most of the year, you will get the most out of your panels.
If you’re not sure how much energy your household consumes, you could calculate usage using the details from your electric meter and past bills. They are a cost-effective way to power your home and the investment cost won’t take long to recoup. There are no outside production costs, so you only need to budget for the initial installation.
If you don’t own your own home you will need to contact your landlord and request permission to install the panels. Most landlords won’t object as long as you cover the cost. Of course, you will need to think about whether it’s worth spending money on a property you may not stay in. If you are a homeowner you should check if you need planning permission. It’s unlikely, but if you live in a flat, or your home is listed, you may need to check with your local council.
Maintaining your solar panels shouldn’t be an intensive job. They are strong and built to last in all weathers. Getting them cleaned a few times a year should be enough to keep them in tip-top condition.
Getting solar panels installed constitutes a major change to your home, so you must check with your building insurance company whether they are covered. According to comparethemarket.com, there have been cases where individuals have been refused insurance after having them fitted, so it’s best to double-check beforehand.
The most obvious benefit of using solar panels is reducing your carbon footprint. Doing your part in looking after the environment by using renewable energy is crucial to address the worldwide problem of carbon emissions. The greenhouse gas emission rate per unit of energy produced is less than other forms of energy including fossil fuels and nuclear power.
As mentioned earlier solar panels cut energy costs as much as £400 annually, so well worth the initial setup costs.
You may think that paneling will decrease the value of your home due to the ugly ascetic nature of the roof. However, a cost-efficient solar-powered home is an attractive prospect for many buyers and will increase the market price and after all our homes are usually our greatest asset so any way we can improve them will be worth the effort.
Another benefit of solar paneling is it doesn’t cause any noise pollution. They are non-intrusive and can be used anywhere. Another big advantage is they can be used in remote areas to get access to electricity. They also don’t produce any waste as they will last forever and won’t need to be replaced unless damaged.
With the demand for energy within the workplace at an all-time high, many business owners are using solar panels as a renewable source of power. This has resulted in massive financial savings and a significant reduction in business-related waste, especially in industries like manufacturing. Solar panels also provide a secure energy supply with no changing rates to worry about. Investing in solar power is risk-free and reliable and provides your business with free energy after the initial outlay. It’s also good for business reputation and can make people choose your business solution over another in the culture of caring.
So, using a renewable energy source is a wise choice and one that will benefit you, your business, and the environment. You will be contributing to a worldwide effort to create a greener earth for all to enjoy. What are you waiting for?