Today, solar energy is enjoying renewed interest as the combination of advanced technology, fluctuating energy costs and tax credits to offset the cost of installation have made it a popular choice for many homeowners.
However, before choosing solar energy for your home, it is important to understand what it is, what it does and the benefits that it provides.
What is Solar Energy?
This is energy that comes from the sun itself. It is safe, clean and renewable which means that you can rely upon it every day to provide for part of the electricity needs for your home. Around the world solar energy is used to create hot water, heat and cool homes and provide electricity for all sorts of appliances inside residences.
There are no pollutants associated with generating solar energy, it is simple to install and is very low maintenance with no moving parts. This means that under normal conditions it will generate electricity for many years to come. Solar energy does have limits in that it cannot generate electricity during the nighttime hours and the amount of power it does create will depend on location, time of day and year and the current weather conditions.
How Solar Energy Works?
Basically, the solar power used to create electricity for homes and businesses uses the same principle of photosynthesis as the grass, trees and plants. The light from the sun is converted to energy that can be used to power all types of devices (photovoltaic solar power systems). Just as plants use sunlight to help them grow, so too do solar panels provide electricity to run so many of our devices.
One of the most common uses of solar energy is powering hot water systems (solar thermal systems). There are certain locations where solar energy provides up to 70% of the power needed to heat water for homes and businesses which saves them a considerable amount of money as compared to using power from the grid.
Additional Facts about Solar Energy
In addition to providing electricity, solar power can be used to create potable or saline water which is actually one of the oldest uses for solar energy. In addition, food can be prepared and cooked using portable solar power units as well as heating water for a wide variety of uses.
There are no environmental pollutants generated by solar energy which means that they can be used on a small scale to power homes and businesses or in larger measures to provide power to neighborhoods and communities.
Around the world, solar energy has so many different uses that only now are they being pulled together to provide people with safe, clean energy for the tasks they perform during the day. From drying your clothes on the line to providing the electricity needed to power the appliances and devices in your home, solar energy is becoming a bigger part of people’s lives every day.