By Guest Blogger Steve Richards
Understanding Solar Power
Energy is of different kinds; hydral, kinetic and solar being some of them. Solar energy is the kind of energy received from the sun, and when sunlight is converted into electricity, we call it solar power. There are two basic processes by which sunlight can be directly converted into electricity; using photovoltaics or PV and the other is by CSP or concentrated solar power that involves using solar energy to boil water which in turn provides power. Photovoltaics are generally used to power smaller or medium-sized appliances like a calculator, to larger off-grid houses that are powered using a photovoltaic array; a cost effective means of providing electricity in places where grid power is impossible, inconvenient or unnecessarily expensive. Inversely, CSP uses mirrors or lenses along with a tracking system that allows a large area of sunlight to be concentrated at a single point, as a beam of light. This kind of system works best for larger projects; businesses and power plants.
Commercial Uses of Solar Power
With the constant rise in demand for electric power, the significantly rising prices of oil and the environmental concern growing rapidly, many businesses are beginning to choose other renewable sources of energy and solar energy is definitely a sustainable choice, one that can be used in various applications. Whether a one-man powered affair or a multinational corporation, organizations today are being constantly urged to change to solar energy to power their offices, warehouses and labs etc. One major reason is the depletion of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum; not only are they scarce, but the by-products released from consumption of the same are harming the environment. Coal, when burned, releases carbon into the air, polluting it even further. It is also responsible for causing, smog, acid rain, toxic air, etc. especially in large organizations with big factories and production units. Solar energy is harmless, it does not pollute the environment, and this energy supply will never be depleted, as long as the sun continues to burn. Businesses can choose to install PV panels comprising of mono or polycrystalline silicon or amorphous silicon solar cells, and the panels themselves can be installed on roof-tops, or even mounted atop a special column, tower, etc. where there is an unobstructed source of sunlight.
Costs vs. Maintenance
When you begin installation of solar panels for your office space/factory/warehouse, etc. you might doubtful whether it’s worth spending the many dollars. However, news just out of New York today from The Business Review says solar panels have dropped 44% over the past 5 years. Meaning these solar systems are now more affordable than ever. Also, don’t forget that an organization can apply for loans or grants to help them with covering the fee of purchasing and installing solar panels; the cost will be worth in the long run since you won’t have to keep purchasing raw materials or spend monthly electricity bills. One major benefit is that solar panels are durable and able to withstand severe weather changes without getting harmed; regular cleaning or dusting will be required to keep dust, soot or grime off the top panels and regular inspections will help to spot any problem that might cause harm later on. But one doesn’t need to be worried, considering that the best solar panel brands come with a minimum of a 25 year performance warranty.
Benefits of Commercial Solar
Reduced Operating Costs
Solar powered systems will reduce and eventually help to eliminate your office’s electric bill. For both big and small industries, the monetary savings can have a tremendous positive impact. A solar powered electronic system is roughly equal to having pre-paid the bills for almost 40 years worth of energy, but at a tiny fraction of what you have to pay currently. The per unit cost of your present electricity/energy bills is higher than what you would spend had it been solar powdered; this means you can save so much more if you shift to a solar energy based system.
Incentives from the local government and decreasing equipment costs means that using and implementing solar energy is a worthwhile investment, both long-term savings and quick returns are possible as well.
Maintenance-Free & Durable
As mentioned above, once you install a solar power system, it will require absolutely minimal maintenance, especially if you’re not using solar powered batteries. These systems are able to provide clean and efficient electric energy for a minimum of 25 and up to 40 years.
Because solar energy does not involve burning of fossil fuels, there is no question of it pollution the environment. Reduced fuel consumption means a reduction in emission of greenhouse gases. Our planet is already being consumed by man-made disasters, and it’s time that more and more people and businesses use this green-efficient energy. Not only will it reduce operation costs but also be a great marketing and PR tool and a positive example in the corporate world.
About the Author
Steve Richards is a green tech writer and a team member at Infinite Energy, commercial solar power experts based in Perth, Western Australia.