Solar Energy Power Systems Benefits
- Energy Independence
- Free Fuel – Exists & Readily available(Renewable Energy Source)
- Minimal maintenance
- Maximum reliability
- Easily Scalable
- Reduced Vulnerability to Power loss
- Generate Power wherever needed
- Technology development
The most attractive benefits of Solar Photo voltaic system is “Energy Independence”, the ability to create our own electrical power. We can generate power without depending upon fossil fuels or Utility connections.
Free fuel: Already exists and readily available(Renewable Energy Source)
Fuel that we use here is Sun Light, which is free and already delivered all over the planet surface. The problems such as poor road conditions, vehicle problems and cost of delivering fuel to remote location(very high cost) is totally avoided in Solar PV Systems.
Solar PV systems requires minimal maintenance because there are very few moving parts compared to diesel powered systems or even other renewable energy sources such as Wind generators or hydro generators which often require regular maintenance of moving parts and sometime costly repairs. Solar PV Systems may require maintenance but minimal.
Large & Complex PV systems do have more parts and may require maintenance. When looking at small power requirements such as for Home Power Systems or remote telecommunications systems only occasional battery maintenance is required.
It would be a mistake to say that Solar PV Systems require no maintenance but the absolute amount of time and money required is low.
Because there are typically few or no moving parts and the complexity of systems can be kept low, the reliability of PV systems in the real world scenario is more. The key to reliability of Solar PV systems is quality and simplicity.
If the components quality, count and complexity of the system design are kept to a minimum, the chance of any failure occurring is remarkable low.
Due to modular by design, we can add more power to an existing array easily. If the voltage can be matched properly. We can add old modules to new ones without any difficulty.
We can purchase and install to meet our current needs as demand grows we can add more modules later. This also means that financial it is easy to start with minimal power system and then adds the power as our budget allows.
By avoiding long power lines for many kilometers from some central generation source we can get rid of problems such as utility power losses. Natural Calamities like earthquake, storm and cyclone can cause power lines to go down. With Photo-voltaic power systems at our site, we could still have power, while the others around us have none.
If we choose to separate the generation of power to each load site, we insure even more reliability and less vulnerability to each load site.
For example, if separate homes have their own lighting systems and one user over discharge their batteries and damage their system; the other users will be unaffected.
Generate wherever needed:
We can generate the power at various sites, such as at each house, school rather than having to install large generator and extend power lines for distribution to individual destination that might be separated by great distance.
Photo voltaic generator can range from few watts to Kilowatt or Mega watt. We can install just the amount of power that we need at each site which we don’t get in other types of generation of power.
Solar energy is an alternative for fossil fuels as it is non-polluting, clean, reliable and renewable source of energy. It does not pollute the air by releasing harmful gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide or sulphur oxide.
So, the risk of damage to the environment is reduced. Solar energy also does not require any fuel to produce electricity and thus avoids the problem of transportation of fuel or storage of radioactive waste.
Technology in the solar power industry is constantly advancing and improvements will intensify in the future. Innovations in quantum physics and nanotechnology can potentially increase the effectiveness of solar panels and double, or even triple, the electrical input of the solar power systems.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
The initial cost for purchasing a solar system is fairly high. Although the government has introduced schemes for encouraging the adoption of Solar energy power generation, for example the Subsidy based on the user, Feed-in Tariff in On-Grid, you still have to cover the upfront costs.
This includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring and for the installation. Nevertheless, solar technologies are constantly developing, so it is safe to assume that prices will go down in the future.
Although solar energy can still be collected during cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system drops. Solar panels are dependent on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy.
Therefore, a few cloudy, rainy days can have a noticeable effect on the energy system. You should also take into account that solar energy cannot be collected during the night.
Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive
Solar energy has to be used right away, or it can be stored in large batteries. These batteries, used in off-the-grid solar systems, can be charged during the day so that the energy is used at night.This is good solution for using solar energy all day long but it is also quite expensive.
In most cases it is smarter to just use solar energy during the day and take energy from the grid during the night (you can only do this if your system is connected to the grid).Luckily our energy demand is usually higher during the day so we can meet most of it with solar energy.
Uses a Lot of Space
The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you will need, because you want to collect as much sunlight as possible. Solar panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like to have.
An alternative is to install some of the panels in your yard but they need to have access to sunlight. Anyways, If you don’t have the space for all the panels that you wanted, you can just get a fewer and they will still be satisfying some of your energy needs.
Associated with Pollution
Although pollution related to solar energy systems is far less compared to other sources of energy, solar energy can be associated with pollution. Transportation and installation of solar systems have been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases.
There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of solar photo voltaic, which can indirectly affect the environment. Nevertheless, solar energy pollutes far less than the other alternative energy sources.
Images : Google
Courtesy : Greenmatch