The power of the sun. Latest offers in solar energy industry for home use
To date, the most experienced in using solar panels are the USA, Spain, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and several European countries. The proliferation of alternative energy sources in these countries is explained by the lack of basic heat carriers (oil or gas).
Among the many advantages of solar electricity, the first thing worth noting is the fact that such equipment, during the entire period of use, generates significantly more energy than was spent on its manufacture. For example, the most common silicon solar cells, which operate in Spain, return the energy, spent on their manufacture, in the first 2 years. Moreover, their service life is at least 20 years.
Another advantage of solar panels is that mass production of electricity does not require a lot of useful and, as a rule, expensive space. Solar panels can be installed on roofs and facades of buildings. When driving throughout the USA, and using the service of, for example, under 25 car rental Pittsburgh PA, pay attention to the tops of the houses, where you are likely to see the solar panels.
Solar panels are classified by the power of electricity generated, which depends on the area of the panel and its design. The power of the sun’s rays at the equator reaches 1 kW, while in cloudy weather it can drop below 100 watts.
Modern offerings in solar energy industry:
- ‘Citizen Eco-Drive’ wrist watch with solar panel instead of clock face
- Installation of solar panels on the roof of a residential buildings
- 130W Solarland portable solar panel
- A drone developed by NASA Ames Research Center is able to fly on solar energy from the US east coast to the west coast.
About the modern solar panels
The lowest coefficient of photoelectric conversion is possessed by amorphous, photochemical and organic solar cells. In the first two types, it is equal to about 10 percent, and in the latter – only 5 percent. This means that with a solar power output of 500 watts, a solar panel with an area of one square meter will generate 50 and 25 watts of electricity, respectively.
In contrast to the aforementioned types of solar cells, there are solar cells, based on silicon semiconductors. The coefficient of photoelectric conversion is at the level of 20%, and under favorable conditions, it could be 25%. As a result, the meter power of the solar panel can reach 125 watts.
- Today, prices have fallen significantly. In most areas, solar panels run at about $ 3-5 per watt. You will pay closer to $ 3, if you install it yourself, and closer to $ 5, if you have professionals to do it. For 7.5 kW or 7500 watts panels, you could pay about $ 22-37,000 dollars.
- If you need less power, of course, the price gets lower. If you only consume 600 kWh per month, or 20 kW/day, you could install a system with a capacity of up to 5 kW, which would cost closer to $ 15,000.
- Of course, it is important to partially provide the house with solar energy. If you want to invest in solar panels $ 10,000, you can supplement the electricity from the network with a 1.5-kW solar system.
- Sincerely speaking, you will need years to see how the money, spent on solar system, begin to work. Although, in some countries, they already practice renting solar panels. There are no upfront payments. Homeowners pay monthly rents for using the panels, and the rental company owns and maintains them.
- Installation of an autonomous station is an ideal solution if it is difficult to connect consumers to a common power grid. Such stations differ from the network by the presence of batteries and charge controllers. For consumers, using it only in the summer, there is no need to install duplicate sources of electricity. For year-round consumers, it is recommended to install duplicate sources (gasoline generator, wind generator, etc.).
From the technical side, the main advantage of solar systems is the complete absence of consumables, as well as the absence of the need to use any type of fuel. In addition, in such systems there are no moving elements, which generate a lot of noise and wear out quickly. They do not need constant maintenance and repair. Solar panels could be used at the working place, at home, or even to be handheld. Power supply from solar panels is beneficial from any point of view.