Solar technologies are used all over the world to harness the sun’s power. It is the fastest-growing single renewable energy source. It offers inexpensive energy at home and a renewable resource. Some of the solar technologies are discussed below.
Solar technologies transform sunlight into electricity either through photovoltaic panels or through concentrating solar radiation (CSP). This power can either be employed to generate electricity by conventional generators or be stored in deep batteries or in thermal storage or further stored in ice or snow. The cost of solar technologies used to convert sunlight directly into electricity can be low if the technology is developed economically. The CSP technology converts solar radiation directly into heat energy which is then used for generating electricity. There are soft costs associated with the CSP technologies but they are low when compared to fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
In the last few decades, solar technologies have advanced by leaps and bounds. Some countries such as Germany and the United States have developed completely autonomous solar-thermal power stations. These solar-thermal power stations do not need to be connected to the electric grid unlike conventional solar panels which need to be connected to the utility grid.
Governments all over the world are also promoting the use of solar technologies. The European Union and Japan are spending millions of dollars each year on research and development of new solar technologies for the commercialization of solar energy. These governments see the tremendous potential of solar energy as a significant source of renewable energy and as a powerful economic generator as well. One of the reasons why solar energy is so attractive is because it is a clean energy with no harmful effects on the environment.
Soft costs for installation can vary greatly. Solar-thermal power stations can range from being very expensive to totally free. So you may want to compare the soft costs of different solar technologies so that you can determine which ones are going to save you the most money. Most solar energy systems today include some level of automation. You will have the ability to monitor your solar-thermal power station using software. Once you know how much power your solar energy systems are generating and the amount of energy your panels are producing, you will be able to determine how efficient your solar energy systems are.
One way to find out how efficient your solar-thermal power stations are is to install your solar-thermal power stations in an area where there are no competing systems. For instance, if there are a lot of large-scale solar-panel farms near your house, you may want to consider installing your solar power stations elsewhere. However, even in these situations it is important to know how many panels you need. If you don’t know this information, you may wind up buying more panels than you need or paying for too many to make a difference.
It helps to know the cost of installation when you are comparing different solar technologies. Installation costs are the price that you pay for the building materials and labor required to build and install your solar power stations. You can choose to have your solar-thermal power stations built in your own backyard or on someone else’s property. Either way, you should factor in the cost of installation into your overall cost for solar power.
The final cost for a solar power system is your monthly power bill. If you plan to use solar technology, you may also want to find out how you can save on your power bills. Solar-thermal power stations require very little maintenance, but the amount of power they produce varies greatly from person to person. Therefore, you might not be able to get a substantial return on your investment. However, many people find the savings from using solar technologies worth the minimal expense and trouble involved with setting up your solar power system.