Sustainable, Renewable Energy Resource - Solar Power

All life on earth is supported by the sun. Research shows that the amount of sunlight received by the earth in one hour is more than the total energy used by the entire world for an entire year. Solar is a safe alternative which can replace current fossil fuels like coal and gas for generation of electricity that contributes to air, water, and land pollution. 

Let’s hear from one of the experts Mr Indrasen Bolampally, founder of Four Solar Pvt Ltd about various aspects of Solar Power Generation. 

The Journey of Solar Power

People have used solar power as far back in history as the 7th century B.C. In its most primitive state, energy from the sun has been revered and put to use almost as long as man has walked the earth. The earliest uses of solar power included focusing the sun’s energy through a magnifying glass to start fires for cooking. Centuries later in 1876 William Grylls Adams and Richard Evans Day applied the photovoltaic principle and year after year there was a refinement to this system. Solar power generates electricity by converting the energy from the Sun. It is a renewable source of energy which is sustainable, reliable and cost-effective.

Why Rooftop Solar?

There are many benefits to installing rooftop solar panels. A few of them could be:

  • It does not require a lot of maintenance except cleaning of solar panels
  • Savings
  • Better return on investment
  • Guilt-free consumption
  • Opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability 

How does solar power work?

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system absorbs sunlight and converts it into energy to power your business. Solar panels are mounted on the roof of a building or on the ground. They are then oriented and pitched - at the latitude of the place - to capture maximum sunlight throughout the year thereby producing optimal output. The efficiency of solar is usually between 15% to 20%. The energy produced by solar is of Direct Current (DC Type). Our electrical and electronic equipment at homes using Alternating Current (AC Type). Therefore, inverters are required to convert the DC type to AC type. 

There are 3 different types of grid systems used for installing solar power. 

  • On-grid system - net meter- or gross meter-based system (no batteries required)
  • Off-grid system - (battery-based system)
  • Hybrid - On-grid and Off-grid in one system 

The reliability factor

The solar system works on sunlight, so it is possible that there may be times in the year where it is cloudy and solar power is not generated enough. In such situations, the load at home or building will draw power from the Utility Grid automatically, that is when the load is more than the solar production which then it imports power from the Grid.

In a non-grid system, any excess power produced in the day time is exported to the government electricity (utility) grid. All the energy exported can be imported back at night at the same tariff. For an off-grid system, the excess energy produced in the day is stored in battery banks and is reused at night.

Well, talking about the longevity factor or the warranty/service, solar panels usually come with a Performance Warranty of 25 Years and Product Warranty of 10 Years. The Inverter gets a 

Product and Performance Warranty from 5 to 7 Years (based on its Make) 

Return of Investment

The ROI depends on the loads (size) in the house, the capacity of total solar photovoltaic installation and the type of system installed. Typically, one can get an ROI between 3 and 5 years (based on the tariff). 

Some interesting facts about Solar Power:

  • Solar energy has been used for over 2700 years. In 700 BC, glass lenses were used to make fire by magnifying the sun’s rays
  • The 1st Solar Panel cells were invented in 1941
  • Space missions by various countries use solar energy to power their spaceships
  • In 1990 a solar-powered aircraft flew across the United States using no fuel
  • The world's largest solar thermal plants are located in the state of California
  • To conclude, if all the sun’s energy falling on the earth for one day is converted to electricity, humanity can survive for at least a year.

Article source: Organo et School Website

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