Solar energy allows us to take advantage of the energy that comes from solar radiation. One way to take advantage of sunlight is to convert radiation into electrical energy through solar panels or thermal energy using solar collectors.
The most significant disadvantage of solar energy is that solar electricity depends on the weather, and it does not produce electricity at night. However, nowadays, these energy systems have improved significantly using technologies such as heliostats to concentrate solar energy or solar trackers.
This renewable energy source has numerous advantages and disadvantages. However, in this article, we will focus on solar energy benefits:
1. Endless Source of Energy
In reality, the energy emitted by the Sun is limited, but it is estimated that it has a life of 5,000 million years. That is why, on a human scale, solar energy is considered endless.
2. Does Not Emit Greenhouse Gases
Solar power plants can generate electricity without emitting polluting gases into the environment that cause climate change.
This effect makes it possible to reduce dependence on fossil fuels used in conventional thermal power plants and generate electricity with sustainable development.
3. Low Initial Investment
The price of solar panels and home solar installations has dramatically improved. Therefore, with an initial investment, it is possible to install photovoltaic panels to reduce the electricity bill.
Solar PV panels are becoming stronger every day, solar cells are more efficient, and their cost is decreasing over time. It allows solar energy to be economically an increasingly viable solution. Moreover, with an additional cost, we can install solar trackers or solar concentrators to improve productivity.
Within the different types of solar facilities, we highlight the thermal solar energy installations to solar photovoltaics. The main advantage of these solar installations is their low investment cost. These energy systems are generally used to heat water and use it as hot water or heating.
Some countries want to promote this technology and offer tax credits.
4. Low Maintenance Cost
Solar installations, especially in homes, have the advantage that they do not require much maintenance. In addition, maintenance costs are minimal as the solar panels only need to be cleaned from time to time to maintain high performance.
5. Generate Electricity in Isolated Areas
Photovoltaic solar energy is an excellent resource for places that are difficult to access or very far from the installed electrical networks.
For example, in mountain shelters and houses, the solar system cost is much lower than the cost of installing power lines to the site.
In tropical countries, the yield of solar energy is even higher due to the amount of solar radiation they receive annually in almost the entire territory.
6. It Is the Origin of Most Energy Sources
The energy that comes from the Sun has a direct impact on most other forms of energy; Let's see some examples:
Wind energy uses the energy of the wind that moves due to the difference in temperatures caused by the Sun.
Fossil fuels result from plant and animal residues that used the Sun millions of years ago to carry out photosynthesis.
Hydraulic energy benefits from the water cycle, in which solar energy plays a fundamental role in evaporation.
7. Great Versatility in Small Applications
Photovoltaic solar energy is used in many uses and devices that do not require large amounts of energy. Some examples are:
Calculators: some of these devices benefit from photovoltaic technology to save the use of galvanic batteries.
Urban lighting: some urban areas use solar panels to power streetlights and traffic signals. In this way, they benefit from solar energy saving the cost of supplying electricity to each site.
Space stations: using solar panels in space stations is essential for obtaining electricity.
Obtaining mechanical work: Some devices, such as solar Stirling engines, can convert the Sun's energy into mechanical energy, such as solar Stirling engines.
Solar concentrators are used to power solar thermal power plants and also to provide heat in solar cookers.