Using predominantly petroleum and other fossil fuels for energy production has major drawbacks, including limited supplies, the release of greenhouse gases and other pollutants during use. Plus for most countries - the dependence on foreign oil and coal supplies.
But the solar power industry has been pushing out innovations left and right, some of which have the potential to make a serious and positive impact on our energy systems.
First, what is Solar energy?
Did you know that the sun emits enough power each second to satisfy the entire human energy demand for over two hours? Further, the sun is expected to last another 30 billion years.
Solar energy can now provide electricity to light our homes and businesses by the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells and Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems and also provides heating and cooling by the use of solar thermal systems; evacuated tubes and/or flat plate collectors. The technology is also versatile. For example, solar cells generate energy for far-out places like satellites in Earth orbit and cabins deep in the Rocky Mountains as easily as they can power downtown buildings and futuristic cars.
Why is Solar energy the best solution?
1. Renewable Energy Source
Solar energy is a truly renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy. Solar energy will be accessible as long as we have the sun, therefore sunlight will be available to us for at least 5 billion years.
2. Reduces Electricity Bills
The installation of a solar system in your home could result in the reduction of your energy bill by more than 60% and more than 30% in a typical business. How much you save on your bill will be dependent on the size of the solar system and your electricity or heat usage. There is also potential to receive payments for the surplus energy that you export back to the grid if you generate more electricity than you use.
3. Low Maintenance Costs
Solar energy systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean, so cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. Most reliable solar panel manufacturers offer 20-25 years warranty. So after covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect to spend very little on maintenance and repairs.
What is the future of Solar energy systems?
Technology in the solar power industry is constantly advancing and improvements will intensify in the future. Innovations can potentially increase the effectiveness of solar panels and double, or even triple, the electrical input of the solar power systems.
To outpace current solar cells, new designs would need to be able to capture more light, transform light energy to electricity more efficiently, and/or be less expensive to build than current designs. Some of the latest innovations are remarkable. Here is a few examples:
Windows which have been treated with a new electricity generating coating remain see-through, yet have the ability to convert sunshine to energy. The coating of these solar windows produces the world’s smallest functional solar cells, measure less than ¼ the size of a grain of rice and can be applied at room temperature, with no need for specialized production facilities.
Solar thin films
These solar films can be ‘printed’ in rolls, which greatly reduces both the cost and the installation, as well as opening up more opportunities for placement of these solar power producers, such as being integrated into the roofing materials of buildings.
Infrared Spectrum Solar Panels
The solar energy harvested by current solar panels comes entirely from the visible spectrum, which leaves quite a bit of the light spectrum untapped. But research into adding new materials to solar semiconductors could mean that in the future, our solar panels will also be able to capture some of the infrared spectrum and turn it into electricity.
Is your business related to the clean energy industry in Australia? Don’t forget to register for the upcoming Australian Clean Energy Summit Webinar Series 2020.
At Mo Works, innovation is also what drives us. Always finding new ways and solutions to meet our client’s needs. Whether it be, developing the latest technology, offering the latest app, we believe that innovation is the key to success and a brighter future.
Want to get featured on our next “clean energy” related blog? Contact us today.