The big ball of fire that everyone calls the sun has been here since time immemorial. Who knew the sun would become a saviour of present and future generations? Solar energy, or light and heat from the sun, has emerged as a crucial enabler for sustainability and climate change mitigation. It is now a large-scale modern energy generation industry in itself.
You would be surprised to know that enough sunlight strikes the earth’s surface every 90 minutes to fulfil the entire human race’s energy needs for an entire year! So, doesn’t it make wise sense to make the most of it? Here is everything you need to know about solar power and how to harness it through solar panels.
Solar Energy: One Step Closer to Sustainable Living
Solar power is referred to as "native" energy because it is available in most parts of the world. Moreover, it will continue to be available infinitely and indefinitely in the future, unlike fossil fuels that are on the verge of extinction.
Solar power provides long-term energy assurance. So, it is also the most vital source of renewable energy. What’s more? The sun offers its energy for free, and that too in abundance. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
Solar-based eco-friendly products are the best way to incorporate them into your life for a sustainable lifestyle. You can use these products for residential or commercial purposes as your need may be. A few such energy-efficient products for a sustainable life are:
- Solar water heater
- Solar air conditioner
- Solar water RO
- Solar cooker
- Solar cell phone
- Solar charger
- Solar chimney
- Solar fans and lights
- Solar flashlight
- Solar watch
- Solar water pumps
Decoding Solar Energy System: Inverters, Batteries, and Meters
The solar power system runs on solar panels made from a series of photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into electricity. There are also solar thermal panels which can heat water by absorbing sunlight.
A fun little fact for you: American inventor Charles Fritts created the first solar panel in 1883!
Solar panels run on an intricate mechanism of inverters, batteries and meters. Let’s elaborate.
- When these panels generate Direct Current (DC) of electricity, it passes through an inverter to convert into Alternative Current (AC).
- Solar batteries store the surplus electricity generated by the panels. You can use power from these batteries during nights, cloudy or rainy days or power outages.
- The solar system meter is just like your regular electric meter. It measures energy production and consumption.
The Goodness of Solar Energy for Mother Earth
Solar power energy has several benefits for our planet:
- It reduces dependence on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels.
- It lowers greenhouse emissions as it hardly causes any pollution. It is a clean source of energy!
- It prevents damage to land and habitat because it doesn’t require the digging of land or cutting down trees.
- It uses less water, thereby helping in water conservation.
- It decreases carbon footprint through an eco-friendly lifestyle.
- The materials of solar products are recyclable.
Earn Some Bucks by Selling Energy Back to the Grid
If you are using solar power for house, you can sell it to government or private grid companies as a source of income. You can install solar power systems on as little as 10 square meters of roof space to produce and sell solar electricity. It is estimated that you can earn around INR 30,000 to INR 1 lakh. No kidding!
Moreover, you can avail of government subsidies to reduce the operational cost of solar systems. Your electricity bills will also go down, and property value will go up. These benefits also increase your income through savings.
Ditch the Misconceptions about Solar Energy
Here are clarifications to a few misconceptions surrounding solar power:
It is Not as Efficient as Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels have a huge negative impact on the environment though they are more efficient than solar power. Furthermore, solar power is a more optimal resource as it is indefinitely available, while fossil fuels will dry up in a few hundred years.
It Will Not Work During Non-Sunny Days
The solar power system can work in cold, cloudy, or rainy environments. They produce enough power when the sun is not shining high. The batteries also store solar power, which you can use anytime.
It is Not Possible to Use Solar Power Without Roofs
If a rooftop is not available, you can still access solar power through ground-mounted panels. Alternatively, you can set up a solar system on the rooftop of a community building and share it with others.
It Will Reduce the Resale Value of Your Property
Properties with solar systems have a higher real estate value as they get environment-friendly and future-ready tags. Moreover, these properties also fetch subsidies from the government.
Debunking Myths Surrounding Solar Panel Installation and Usage
Let’s also bust out some of these myths:
They are Expensive to Install
There is an initial investment starting at INR 40,000 for the installation. However, they can last 30-35 years and reduce electricity bills. Did you know that the price of solar power has fallen by over 80% since 2010?
Installation is Very Complicated
The installation will take about 1-5 days. It takes only one day for most residential solar systems. You should always hire professional and reputed installers for the best results.
They Will Damage the Roof
The panels safeguard the roof from harsh weather elements. If the roof requires any repair, the panels are easily removable as they are mounted and not fixed to it.
They are High Maintenance
These panels have minimal upkeep as you only need professional maintenance about 2-4 times a year. Clean it at regular intervals for dust and debris.
They are Visually Unappealing
The panels are installed on the roof, which is usually not a visible part of the property for onlookers. So, they won’t appear ‘ugly’. However, if you are building a new home, you can work with your architect and interior designer to make these panels blend in seamlessly with the aesthetics.
As long as the sun continues to shine (which is for a billion more years!), it will continue to give energy to mankind. Solar power is likely to become a prominent energy source for a sustainable lifestyle and environmental protection in the coming years. There isn’t a better time than today to start leveraging its ‘green’ benefits.
We at Beco firmly believe in driving positive change in the world through sustainable and eco-friendly choices. Shop now on our website for a wide range of natural home care products.
What are the benefits of using solar energy?
It is non-dependent on fossil fuels, safe for the environment and reduces electricity bills.
How much does it cost to install solar panels?
It usually starts at INR 40,000, depending on the type and size of the solar panels.
Can solar energy be used during power outages?
Yes. You can use stored electricity from solar batteries.
Is solar energy environmentally friendly?
Yes. It is a clean and inexpensive renewable source of energy. It has a much lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels.
What is the lifespan of solar panels, and how often do they need maintenance?
The lifespan is about 30-35 years, and they need maintenance 2-4 times a year.
Can I sell excess solar energy back to the grid?
Yes. You can sell it to the government or private energy grid and earn money.