Sunday, January 20, 2013

There is great controversy regarding the usefulness and drawbacks of solar energy. Praised by many of those who are interested in clean alternative power sources, it provides numerous exceptional advantages to those who know how to use it properly.

Depending on your requirements, your budget possibilities, location options and many other factors, it can also present various disadvantages, as not everyone can fully benefit from it the way they would prefer to. In these terms, a buyer has to be extra careful when making a purchase, as the risks are great when it comes to making the best decision.

Let's take a look, therefore, at the most important advantages and disadvantages, so you can get the most out of the various options that may be available to you, and enjoy your new power source for a long time to come.

What Are the Main Advantages?

The most obvious advantage of solar energy is the fact that the light of the sun is totally free. Many people have considered over the years that there must be better ways to exploit this practically inexhaustible, clean source of energy, and so far the progress made with the technology associated with the development of photovoltaic cells has been considerably improved over the years.

The efficiency of the technology has actually reached a level where the investments you make in the purchase of a solar panel system can be recovered in as little as 2 or 3 years, which is a great improvement when compared to past years, when the technology was much more expensive and less reliable.

This is excellent news, especially because the lifespan of such an array is far greater than that, and maintenance details simply consist of ensuring that the panels are wiped and clean, and of checking that nothing blocks them from soaking up all the energy that the sun can offer.

Another important advantage of solar power is the fact that the energy source is renewable, and does not emit any harmful greenhouse gases, as is the case when it comes to the use of fossil fuels. Even some of the other "green" methods of providing seemingly free energy have varying negative effects on the environment, so, in this regard, the use of a solar panel array is perhaps one of the best possible choices.

Saving money is also a crucial aspect for anyone and everyone in this day and age. As the population continues to grow, and fossil fuel sources are slowly becoming depleted, it is estimated that the amount paid for common electricity bills will keep growing in the future.

It is crucial, therefore, to come up with new sources of energy that are more economical. Solar panels have the advantage that you only have to buy and install them once, and then you can benefit from free electrical energy for as long as the sun keeps showing up on the horizon every morning. You can rarely find a better bargain than that.

Monetary advantages get even better, since solar panels can allow you to become energy independent, and if you use less energy than you produce, your utility company may actually buy it from you. Also, some governments provide financial incentives geared to further reduce your costs.

Last, but definitely not least, you always have the option of upgrading your solar panel array, should the need arise in terms of additional power requirements. If you decide that you need more energy, therefore, you can add as many new solar panels as you want.

General Drawbacks

One of the most important disadvantages of solar energy is that the source is somewhat diffuse, and you will likely need a large number of solar panels in order to produce the required amount of electricity. This is the main reason for the high cost of the panels, and it makes installation more difficult as well, since you need a larger amount of open space to fit all the panels.

Most experts state that you cannot use a single rooftop solar panel if you want to provide energy for your entire household. Instead, you will likely have to buy solar panels for as much as 20000 dollars in order to achieve best results.

There are also great difficulties with making the energy stable, even if you already have a large solar array that may be able to provide enough power. This problem has been solved by many manufacturers, however, as, with the help of the latest technology in terms of electricity, they have been able to "smooth out" the current enough to make it quite safe, and avoid large energy spikes.

The issue of providing energy during the night is also one that has puzzled manufacturers for a long time. The best choice for solving this problem is a battery backup system that can store the collected energy during the night.

Also, in terms of energy efficiency, it has to be mentioned that the energy conversion ability of most solar cells is quite unreliable, as the highest value is generally thought to be around 20 %. This points to the necessity of using a larger array of solar panels for the purpose of obtaining a decent amount of electricity.

Although they don't really solve all your problems, particularly those regarding power efficiency, DIY solar panels can help a lot when it comes to saving money, and, as there are more and more quality guides and books available, teaching people how to build reliable solar panels, in due time, it may be possible to build your own solar panel with minimal cost and effort.