The initial cost of purchasing a solar system is quite high, but home solar energy is more affordable than ever. The history of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy began with scientific experimentation in the late 19th century, and the first silicon photovoltaic cell capable of converting energy from the sun into energy that could power electrical equipment was introduced in 1954. Across the country, solar energy is a proven technology and its adoption as a clean energy source will continue. Since the cost of electricity increases by 3-5% each year, many people are considering alternative energy sources, such as solar energy. Before you install a solar system in your house, you need to consider some significant disadvantages.
The conversion rate of solar panels is not always high, and residents in places like Canada and Russia are at a solar disadvantage due to their location. In places like Hawaii, where they have an average of 277 days a year of rain and clouds, their location on the equator is irrelevant because they simply don't have enough clear sunlight reaching the ground. For homeowners who want to install solar panels, the installation area is not going to be so important, especially when most of the time they are installed on the roof. However, large companies that want to produce a lot of energy will need a very large installation area to provide electricity consistently.
The largest solar field is in Spain, occupying about 173 acres and providing power to nearly 12,000 homes. Most solar panels in people's homes convert only 14% of their available energy into energy. Even today's most efficient solar panels convert only 22% of their available energy into energy. According to the second law of thermodynamics, solar cells will never reach 100% efficiency.
The highest theoretical maximum efficiency is 85%, and that is with mirrors and motors to follow the sun. For a system that does not track the sun, the highest theoretical maximum efficiency is only 55%. The same applies to systems that track the sun on cloudy days. Land use by solar fields can be massive, and unlike wind energy, sharing land for agricultural uses is not an option. Solar energy also affects land use when it comes to mining and producing the materials needed to produce photovoltaic energy.
Among the compounds found in solar panels are cadmium and lead, extremely toxic metals. There are a number of other toxic and hazardous materials used in the production of solar panels. Generating electricity produces a lot of carbon emissions. In the United States, electricity generation from fossil fuels accounts for 25 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. In about 8 years after installation, your solar panel system will have fully paid for itself by providing free electricity to your home.
After that, you will start making money simply by doing nothing but having solar panels. The name “rare earth metals” is a bit misleading; these elements are actually in abundance. However, it is the extraction of these elements for use in wind turbines and solar cells that has a negative impact on the environment and on the humans who extract them. Fortunately, major technology companies are exploring methods to recycle these rare earth elements to maintain a steady supply. Solar panels continue to generate electricity if even a small amount of sunlight hits the panel. Of all the clean energy alternatives, solar energy has arguably been the most expensive, although prices have been falling.
In most situations and areas in the U. S., solar panels are worth the cost of installation and maintenance, which provides a good return on investment and benefits to the environment. The main advantages of solar energy are that it helps you lower your electricity bill, increase the value of your home, reduce your carbon footprint, combat rising electricity costs and get your money back on your investment. For advanced DIY enthusiasts it is possible to install a solar system in the home, but for most homeowners a professional solar installer is required. Solar households must rely on utility grids or battery storage for energy at night and in other situations where sunlight is not available.
The cost of electricity will continue to rise in the future, which means that your electricity bill will also continue to rise.
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