Showing posts with label affordable solar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label affordable solar. Show all posts

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Solar Energy Trends to Watch Out For


Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

(Guest post by Enrique Hormillo)

There’s never been a better time to adopt solar energy than today. Having solar panels installed in homes and offices is now more affordable than it was 20 years ago, with numerous companies offering quality products and services in this booming industry.

Moreover, people are becoming more aware of the dangers that traditional sources of power present. For example, 2020 registered hotter average temperatures than the average 20th-century records. The constant threat of global warming looms more prominently with each passing day.

Suppose you’re interested in installing solar panels in your home or office. In that case, it pays to learn about the latest trends surrounding the use of solar power. Having a good idea of the current landscape for solar energy can help you make worthwhile purchases and improve your quality of life in the long run.

Some of these trends can immediately transform how you benefit from using solar energy. It’s also possible you won’t immediately see how solar power can directly affect your day-to-day activities. However, you can be sure that solar energy will play a vital role in residences, offices, and other essential facilities in the coming years.

Trend 1: Solar Energy Costs Will Continue to Drop

While it is still not the most popular mode of power generation worldwide—only 2% of the United States’ overall electricity generation is solar-powered—it’s hard not to expect solar energy to become the preferred mode in the long run.

One of the biggest reasons behind this is the technology is continuously improving. Therefore, a better way of producing solar power is always being developed day in and day out. You can expect these methods to be more cost-efficient than their predecessors.

Another reason for this is the amount of available supply. While oil reserves will eventually run out, solar power will always be a stable source of power that can provide electricity for generations to come.

Trend 2: Increased Installation of Solar Shingles

This trend is somewhat connected to the previous one, as lower prices mean more people becoming enticed to try getting solar panels for their property. Therefore, expect more people to bring this technology to their homes or buildings should the first trend become more prevalent.

The price of solar panels in the Philippines shows encouraging signs for interested individuals and companies. While panels that generate decent electricity can cost you more than PHP 10,000, there are affordable alternatives to help more people get into the movement.

Trend 3: Europe Will Look to Adopt Renewable Energy More in the Coming Years

As the pandemic reduced the overall power demand, various countries in Europe have looked to incorporate more solar farms into their power grid. With 40% of the continent’s electricity coming from renewable sources, it paints an encouraging picture of how the world would look like if powered by renewable energy.

Of course, there’s an entirely different conversation to be had when all industries resume 100% operations and go back to full power. Still, the fact that the EU managed to pull this off provides a blueprint for the world to follow.

Trend 4: There Will Be Jobs in Solar Energy

As prices for installing and maintaining solar energy systems become more affordable, the demand will naturally increase. This increase in demand only means that there will be more solar panel installation jobs, which necessitates openings for solar panel installers.

This trend is much-needed for an economy that is still recovering from the blows it incurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With 81 million people in the Asia Pacific region alone losing their jobs due to the pandemic, having more industries that can generate work is surely a welcome change.

Trend 5: Climate Change Will Drive Interest Towards Solar Power

It’s an unfortunate reality, but climate change is driving more people to switch to solar power and other renewable forms of energy. As temperatures continue to rise and sea levels increase, there will be a more concerted effort to use renewable energy to protect the planet.

Why You Should Switch to Solar Energy

There are plenty of reasons why making the switch from traditional power generation to solar energy is an excellent choice. Of course, the most obvious reason for the change is its environmental impact. Still, it also positively affects other aspects of our lives.

The first perk we will get from solar energy is the lessened levels of air pollution that are produced due to the burning of fossil fuels. Solar power also reduces the water used during the process, which gives people more water to drink and use.

Besides protecting our planet, switching to solar energy also lessens our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. They also help us save money in the long run as it cuts our utility bills. Finally, the industry will create jobs for people around the world.

Make the Switch Today

There’s never been an easier time to cut on your power bills than today. With solar energy becoming more and more popular, installing it in your home or business will become more affordable over time.

Indeed, it’s safe to say the earth and your wallet will thank you for using solar energy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sun-Heated Solar Outdoor Shower


Sun-Heated Solar Outdoor Shower
The sun-heated solar shower is a perfect accompaniment to any outdoor pool and an interesting alternative to the regular outdoor shower. This cool solar device can heat up to 8 liters of water to 140° Fahrenheit in as little as two hours. Just place it in a sunny spot and connect to your garden hose to fill the tank at the bottom to its 8-liter capacity. The shower's base acts as a greenhouse to heat hose water; sunlight penetrates the transparent lid and the trapped solar radiation heats the water as it courses through the internal collection tube.

This particular solar shower mixes the 140° water with cool water from the garden hose to a pleasant 86-90°F, giving you plenty of toasty warm water at just the right temperature. You and your family can take several showers consecutively before the tank needs to reheat.

The sun-heated solar outdoor shower is useful device as it will definitely save you electricity costs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thin-film Photovoltaic (PV) Cells


In some of my previous posts I have mentioned thin-film photovoltaic cells and in this article I'll give a brief overview of them.

Solar panels based on the photovoltaic effect have been used for more than thirty years and have traditionally been built using wafers of crystalline silicon, which requires expensive processing and results in ridged, heavy and fragile solar panels.

Crystalline silicon PV cells are still the mainstream products in the PV cell market because they have high conversion efficiencies. However, their output is increasingly being bogged down by shortage of raw material, high production cost and difficulty of processing. These factors have given rise to rapid development of second generation PV technology known as thin-film PV technology.

Thin-film PV cellsThin-film solar cells are generated by coating a substrate (glass, thin flexible metal or plastic substrate) with layers of conductive and semi-conductive materials of a few micrometers in thickness. The individual layers of material are deposited by various processes.

The key materials for the thin-film solar cells are semiconductor elements such as amorphous silicon (a-Si, still silicon, but in a different form), cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium (gallium) diselenide (CIS or CIGS).

Amorphous silicon (a-Si) was the first thin-film material to be commercialized, although, the PV cells built from amorphous silicon are invariably less efficient than crystalline PV. These PV cells have low efficiency and limited lifetime (approximately 10-15 years). Initially, a-Si was mostly used in consumer items such as calculators. Amorphous silicon is the most widely used for the creation of thin-film solar panels. It has a sun energy conversion rate as high as 9%.

Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is a highly useful material in the making of solar cells. Cadmium telluride PV (CdTe PV) is the first and only thin-film photovoltaic technology to surpass crystalline silicon PV in the marketplace in terms of lower system price for a significant portion of the PV market – large (multi-kW) systems.

CdTe PV cells structure includes a very thin layer of cadmium sulfide that allows most sunlight to pass through to the CdTe layer. These characteristics provide the potential for high-efficiency modules with low-cost manufacturing processes. CdTe cell efficiencies are over 16% in the laboratory; commercial module efficiencies are likely to be in the 9% range in the first manufacturing plants.

Copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) cells create more electricity from the same amount of sunlight than does other thin-film PV and therefore has a higher "conversion efficiency". Besides that, CIGS conversion efficiency is very stable over time, meaning its performance continues unabated for many years.

CIGS cells use extremely thin layers of semiconductor material applied to a low-cost backing such as glass, flexible metallic foils, high-temperature polymers or stainless steel sheets. They are of interest for space applications and the portable electronics market because of their light weight. CIGS cells are also suitable in special architectural uses, such as photovoltaic roof shingles, windows, siding and others. CIGS thin-film solar cell recently reached 19.9 percent efficiency, setting a new world record for this type of cell.

Thin-film PV technology has attracted a lot of interest in the recent years. The main reason for this interest is that thin-film PV cells are less expensive than other PV systems. Rather than being manufactured laboriously piece by piece, thin-film can be mass-produced in cheap rolls like packaging - in any colour. Thin-film PV cells also can harvest as much energy from the sun with far less semiconductor material. They can be made with flexible substrates which allow them to be used in more locations than silicon cells, such as clothing and sails. A number of applications are being pursued using thin-film PV technologies, including roof-top applications (such as rooftop shingles, roof tiles), building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), the glazing for skylights or atria, and utility-scale applications.

Thin-film PV cells represent the most promising technology for providing more affordable solar cells for residential and other uses in the future. According to NanoMarkets, the thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV) market will produce 26GW by 2015, generating over $20 billion in revenues.