Even the poorest amongst us inherit two very priceless assets at birth – the sun and the moon. They are all yours till your eyes are closed upon the light of this world. The sun, apart from providing us with light and warmth at least twelve hours a day, can also give us the much needed electricity if we harness it appropriately. And that’s precisely what science has achieved.
With the help of photovoltaic cells we can derive electricity from solar energy; as much as we need, and that too, sans any price. Of course, it costs a great deal of money to construct a solar or photovoltaic panel to obtain electric power. But that is a different story.
To begin with, with the sun as your helpful but non-interfering working partner, you can do business selling electricity to your utility company or the grid at a profit (no raw material cost and no running cost) through “Net-metering Scheme” for as long as you may wish. Since it may sound more like a fairy tale than a business venture, the matter is discussed in detail here. Say, your monthly electricity consumption is X number of units or A amount of dollars. Now, if you install a solar panel at your home that can produce 6X number of units per month that is equivalent to $5A and you draw 2X number of units from the utility for night time consumption, you are still left with 6X minus 3X or 3X number of units equivalent to $5A minus $A or $4A in your hand. Since you can neither relish eating the surplus electricity as your breakfast food everyday nor can store it for a rainy day, you obviously sell it to the utility company or the grid at a profit. This way you can eat your cake and have it too. If you still find it mind-boggling, talk it over with your nearest solar panel dealer who may make the plan look more profitable.
Then there is the question of return on investment. Let me warn you at the outset that the investment can be fairly high though most states offer financial assistance to you for the simple reason that you are utilizing eco-friendly, clean renewable energy to produce electricity that does not contaminate the environ. However, you can always find out the break-even point by subtracting the value of the annual sale of electricity from the initial investment made by you. In any event, this is relatively easier computation that is given here.
Initial investment $30,000
Yearly sale value of solar electricity $ 5,000
Number of years to reach break-even point 6 years
From the 7th year onward everything is free
Since solar energy is clean, renewable, non-fossil fuel oriented and sustainable, it does not pollute the air that we breathe by discharging sulfur dioxide (SO²), carbon dioxide (CO²), nitrogen oxide (NO) or mercury into it as happens with most of the traditional fossil fuel electricity generation systems. And for the same reason, solar energy does not contribute to the contemporary problem of global warming or greenhouse effect. And the best part of it includes the fact that it would never cause unhealthy smog or acid rain in the area where it is utilized.
Some of the solar energy advantages also include free usage of fuel and no maintenance cost as the solar panel has no moving parts that may require replacement after a given period of time.
Yet another unique and novel advantage that is associated with installation and use of solar energy concerns its independent nature of application. Solar energy does not need any other implement to begin operation and starts generating current absolutely on its own through the solar panel. This distinctiveness of operation helps installation of units anywhere under the sun, irrespective of whether other facilities are available or not. Besides, it is portable. Powerful Solar energy units mounted on trailers, complete with control panel, converters, battery banks and switches are now in use in such remote areas like the South African Game Reserves where scientists are busy checking the genes of large animals like the rhinoceros or the giraffe. Independent solar energy operated units help light up their camp sites while powering their laptops for research work.
On top of everything else, it has already reduced the dependence on Middle Eastern countries whose oil supplies had so far been responsible for fossil fuel generated electric power. And the way people are now becoming ready to install solar power in homes and workplaces, a day will come in not too distant foreseeable future when diesel powered generators would sound like archaic storybook topics.
However, let us now take a look at some of the disadvantages that accompany solar energy uses. A disturbing factor is the present high cost of installation of a solar panel. Though the government departments are trying their best to bring about a solution by way of allowing financial help as well as various rebates and concessions to would be users, the picture is still pretty grim. But considering the many advantages, the negative points seem minor.
So are you ready to opt for solar energy – there are simply too many advantages to ignore it. What you need is a training guide – a manual, that will let you learn how to install a system. You will also need to know a few other things such as what is the best place to set up the system, where to buy the parts, how to get free batteries, safety precautions and also wiring the system. Get informed and you are ready to install solar system in your home.