Solar energy is one of the most abundant and effective forms of renewable energy. But have you ever wondered how solar panels save energy?
Solar panels save energy that would have been taken from the grid, cutting your energy bills and saving costs.
Unlike other forms of energy, solar power does not emit any greenhouse gases and hence, does not have a carbon footprint.
If you are curious about how solar panels save energy, we have come up with the right guide.
Simply put, solar energy is captured from the sun’s rays and converted into energy you can use in your homes and workplaces.
Read on to learn more about how solar panels work.
How Do Solar Panels Save Energy?
Solar panels save energy by converting the sun’s rays into energy that can be used to power appliances.
Solar energy can be converted into solar power in two ways; Photovoltaic Conversion (PV) and Solar Thermal Conversion. These are direct and indirect conversions for generating energy, respectively.
The Working Of Solar Panels:
Solar Photovoltaic cells are squeezed between conductive layers made up of silicon.
A flow of electricity is created when electrons get loosened due to sunlight shining on the panels, creating a positive charge on one side and a negative charge on the other.
An inverter is usually installed to convert the energy from Direct Current to Alternating Current, which will then be used to operate most home appliances.
When these solar cells are combined, they form solar panels used to generate electricity.
To ensure these solar panels are exposed to maximum light, installing them on roofs facing South is advised, although East and West-facing roofs are also appropriate.
While most solar panels are installed on rooftops, they can also be installed on walls or the ground in the form of solar tiles.
However, these solar tiles cost twice as much as a panel system and are difficult to install.
Where Are Solar Panels Used?
Solar panels produce electricity which can be used to power up electric appliances. Some uses of solar panels are
For Electricity Generation:
The photovoltaic cells in solar panels produce electricity that can be used directly by the house’s power supply.
It can also be stored in large batteries and later used as a generator to power up appliances during blackouts.
However, the efficiency of these solar panels is vastly reduced in darker regions of the world.
For Use In Power Grids:
In cases when an excess of electricity is produced, solar energy can be sold to power grids.
This means you can make good use of sunshine by making money when you sell the extra energy to solar grids.
Even if the sun is not shining, you will still be connected to the main utility grid, where you can buy energy if you don’t want to use batteries or generators.
For Use In Spacecraft:
Solar panels are commonly used in spacecraft, shuttles, and satellites to generate electricity for operating onboard computers and electrical appliances.
The effectiveness of these solar panels is not reduced, even in space, which means that the spacecraft will have a continuous energy source without the hassle of carrying heavy batteries and fuel.
How To Save Energy Using Solar Panels?
If you have decided to proceed with installing solar panels, look at these tips to ensure you get the most out of these solar panels:
Use More Electricity During The Day:
Solar panels are more effective during daytime hours than at other times, which means you can go ahead and use appliances such as dishwashers during daytime hours instead of at night.
If you are mostly out during the day, in-built timers are a reliable way to power up appliances.
Install An Energy Storage Mechanism:
To save the energy created from solar panels, it is wise to install an energy storage mechanism that will allow you to store energy generated during the day for use at night.
Reduce Energy Wastage:
Reduce energy in your homes by turning off lights when not in use, draught-proofing your homes, and installing energy-saving appliances, as these steps can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint as well
Keep Solar Panels Clean:
Regularly clean your solar panels to gain the utmost advantage of solar energy for powering up your appliances.
Benefits of Using Solar Panels:
Reduction In Energy Bills:
Those areas that receive more than 2 hours of sunlight can benefit greatly by using solar panels for electricity generation.
Even when the weather is cloudy, and the sunlight is diffused, these solar panels can still power up your home and give you the benefit of reduced energy bills.
Has Various Applications:
Solar energy can be used for various purposes, such as providing electricity to remote areas, distilling water in areas with a limited water supply, and powering up satellites in space.
Has A Low-Maintenance Cost:
Unlike other energy sources, solar energy requires little maintenance. In addition, there is no wear and tear since there are no moving parts.
Does Not Harm The Environment:
Since no greenhouse gases are involved, solar energy has zero effect on the environment.
In addition, it does not pollute the water and does not contain any noise.
Disadvantages Of Using Solar Panels:
High Initial Cost:
The initial costs of installing a solar energy system are relatively high. These costs include installing solar panels, inverters, batteries, and wiring.
Depends On The Weather:
The efficiency of solar panels drops during cloudy or overcast days, which means that a few days of low sunlight can considerably affect production.
Uses Excessive Space:
If you want to collect more electricity, you will need s greater number of solar panels.
Solar panels require a lot of space, and many rooftops may not be spacious enough to accommodate the solar panels or the needed electricity.
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