What is Solar Power?
Producing electricity from the solar energy is SOLAR POWER. It can be produced in two ways thermal and photovoltaic methods. The first concentrates sunlight, converts it into heat, and applies it to a steam generator or engine to be converted into electricity in order "to warm buildings, heat water, generate electricity, dry crops or destroy dangerous waste." Electricity is generated when the heated fluid drives turbines or other machinery. The second form of solar power produces electricity directly without moving parts. Today's photovoltaic system is composed of cells made of silicon, the second most abundant element in the earth's crust. "Power is produced when sunlight strikes the semiconductor material and creates an electric current." The smallest unit of the system is a cell. Cells wired together form a module, and modules wired together form a panel. A group of panels is called an array, and several arrays form an array field
There are several advantages of photovoltaic solar power that make it "one of the most promising renewable energy sources in the world." It is non-polluting, has no moving parts that could break down, requires little maintenance and no supervision, and has a life of 20-30 years with low running costs. It is especially unique because no large-scale installation is required. Remote areas can easily produce their own supply of electricity by constructing as small or as large of a system as needed. Solar power generators are simply distributed to homes, schools, or businesses, where their assembly requires no extra development or land area and their function is safe and quiet. As communities grow, more solar energy capacity can be added, "thereby allowing power generation to keep in step with growing needs without having to overbuild generation capacity as is often the case with conventional large scale power systems." Compare those characteristics to those of coal, oil, gas, or nuclear power, and the choice is easy. Solar energy technologies offer a clean, renewable and domestic energy source. Photovoltaic power even has advantages over wind power, hydropower, and solar thermal power. The latter three require turbines with moving parts that are noisy and require maintenance. Solar energy is most sought today in developing countries, the fastest growing segment of the photovoltaic’s market. People go without electricity as the sun beats down on the land, making solar power the obvious energy choice. "Governments are finding its modular, decentralized character ideal for filling the electric needs of the thousands of remote villages in their countries." It is much more practical than the extension of expensive power lines into remote areas, where people do not have the money to pay for conventional electricity
- You can control your operating costs: With solar energy, you have the advantage of knowing exactly how much your energy costs will be year after year. You can plan and budget your operational costs today – and well into the future. As rates continue to rise, your solar system will save you more and more money year after year! Without solar, your business will be at the mercy of all future rises in energy costs.
- You can lower or stabilise your energy costs: As electricity prices continue to skyrocket, the price of solar power continues to drop. Solar power allows you to generate electricity at a lower cost than purchasing from a utility.
- You can drastically reduce your medium to long-term operational costs: Solar panels have a serviceable life of decades, which translates to a huge reduction in your medium to long-term operational costs.
----- Generate revenue by selling your power to your building’s tenant or to electricity retailers.
----- Increase the value of your building by improving your NABERs/Greenstar rating.
----- Take advantage of Government solar rebates, grants and tax breaks.
- You can enhance your brand’s credibility: More and more consumers are turning to companies with ‘green credentials’. You can promote your use of solar power via system visibility.
- You can do your bit for the environment: Solar energy is the silent, clean energy alternative that helps reduce your carbon footprint. Your business can generate green energy well beyond the 25-year warranty period of the panels. And you’ll have the benefit of knowing your solar power is not contributing to global warming, acid rain or smog and actively contributes to the decrease of harmful green house gas emissions.