Advantages of Solar Energy

January 29, 2009

Solar energy’s potential is off the chart. The energy in sunlight striking the earth for 40 minutes is equivalent to global energy consumption for a year. Besides being used for heating and cooling, solar energy can be directly converted to electricity. Most of our tools are designed to be driven by electricity, so if you can create electricity through solar power, you can run almost anything with solar power. Solar energy prices in these applications are 5-20 times more expensive than other energy sources.

Solar energy is available everywhere on Earth, in varying amounts. Solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface in an unbroken line is called direct , while sunlight scattered by clouds, dust, humidity and pollution is called diffused . The greater phase-change enthalpy in inorganic PCMs make hydrates salts a strong candidate in the solar energy storage field. The ancient Egyptian Pharaohs solar heated their palaces by capturing solar energy in black pools of water by day and draining the hot water into pipes in the floor of the palaces at night.

The glib advocates of solar energy don’t even mention these disturbing facts about the true sources of solar energy. What else are they trying to hide from us? The chief advantage of solar energy is that, to all intents and purposes, it is inexhaustible. Its disadvantages include the fact that when it is most needed for heating purposes, the days are short, the intensity of the rays is low, and the sun is often obscured by cloud. They look like regular roof shingles, but they contain thin film photovoltaic cells – solar cells (PV), which harness solar energy. Solar shingles are very attractive and powerful.

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