5 Ways Solar Power 2.0 Is Changing The World
We hear a lot about renewable energies in the news.
Whether it’s biomass technology whereby landfill gases are used to power turbines, or it’s wave technology that harnesses the power of the seas and oceans. But one kind of renewable or green energy has been around the longest and it makes the most sense. Solar power.
What could be better than harnessing the power of the sun, to fuel the world’s exhaustive energy needs? Solar panels have been around for decades. They were first used on satellites shot up into space by Nasa. They have remained an integral part of governments and international bodies ’ policies for green energy growth. Even Tesla has gotten in on the solar panel game.
So how could this technology still serve a purpose in the future?
There are tons and tons of empty farm fields in the world. Farmers don’t use them because the field may be barren, i.e. unable to grow crops. The fields may also not get enough sunlight for certain types of vegetables. The fields may also be too expensive to maintain. There could be any number of reasons but we know they go unused, practically all year round. This has led to a business that profits both the farmer and the world at large.
Solar farms have begun to spring up here and there. Some of them are gigantic. And they are more efficient than solar panel neighborhoods because, unlike the solar tiles that are on roofs in a fixed position, the large solar panels in farm fields rotate with the sunlight. So now you have a lot of power being generated by large-scale solar panels in empty farm fields. The issue that once stopped solar power from entering into our homes was storage. How do you store solar power? Well just like any other fossil fuel energy, in large static batteries that are connected to the grid. But there wasn’t any room for solar to connect to it. Now, however, governments have switched their tone, giving priority to solar farms to supply power to not only suburbia but also apartments in high-rise buildings right in the center of a city.
The good old home roof
We just spent a little bit of time, comparing the efficiency of solar fields to solar tiles on homes. But don’t let that stop you from getting solar power energy from a green energy company, and also fitting Solar panels on your roof! Why not have both? Solar panels can be fitted to your roof and this can approximately, save you on average $2-3,000 a year. It does, of course, depend on a number of factors.
- Do you live in a place where sunshine is in abundance?
- Does your roof have clear light of sight to the sun, i.e. it’s not in the shade of another home?
- Are the solar panels efficient, or rather, are they efficient enough to meet a benchmark, such as 1-2 weeks of pure solar power for your home in a year? Could you go for 2 weeks just on solar power each year, in other words.
- Will they be free from damage? If you live in a stormy area, pieces of grit, hailstones, and other debris could break the panels.
But in the end, the investment is more than worth it. The issue for many people is, how much they cost in the first place. Getting a whole roof of Tesla solar tiles can cost between $35,000 and $75,000. However, they could generate a lot more energy than previous generation solar tiles. Consider bird proofing solar panels to make them last longer and more efficient.
Solar skyline revolution
Ever wonder what’s at the top of those skyscrapers in New York or Hong Kong? There used to be nothing, except some vents and an antenna. Then slowly but surely, these spaces began to be used for restaurants, exclusive clubs, and that sort of thing. But lately, governments have been trying to think of ways every flat empty space could be used to power the cities and towns we live in.
Now, we are seeing a solar skyline revolution, whereby large tall buildings are being fitted with giant solar panels. These are exactly the kind you can find in solar farms. So they rotate automatically with the sunshine, using up every minute of daylight possible to gather as much solar power as they can. But who cares, as large buildings use up about as much energy in one day, that a neighborhood of multiple thousands does in a week right? Well, yes and no. Any green energy is better than none, and in some tropical and hot climates like Dubai, Singapore, and Australia, the potential to save millions of dollars over time, is clear for everyone to see.
Okay, let’s just burst this bubble. No, cars will not be fully powering cars anytime soon. The amount of energy required to push a car that weighs a ton and half down the road, with passengers inside, is too much for any kind of solar panel. It may never actually be done. But, solar panels can be fitted to cars, to power other things in the car. This could be the heated seats. It could be the air conditioning or energy to charge up your phone. It could be used to power the headlights one day.
Solar panel roofs on cars are a thing, but they are in their earliest years for research and production. The amount of time needed to gain enough charge for anything remotely useful, is in the tens of hours. So unless you live in a sunny area, you may never get a charge that you can use, unless you wait months. But, the idea still stands. One day, you may see cars, entirely covered with solar panels. The challenge of making them aesthetic will be almost as tough as developing the tech.
Solar glass buildings
We have discussed how the roofs of buildings are being used to house solar panels. But they are giant platforms on which you could mount much more. The glass panels for example, may be replaced with solar glass panels instead. These are clear glass panels that can harness energy from the sun. they could slowly release it into the building, eliminating the need to keep air-containing or heating units on for a large part of the working day. Not to mention, they could be something buildings built in this decade could use.
However, small solar panels on office blinds could be used as well. If the sun is too bright for the office and you want to shut the blinds a little, they could have small solar panels on the outside to gain some kind of solar power. As you can see, anything is going to be tried. We have to do anything we can to harness as much power from the sun as possible. There’s no giant solution like had with fossil fuels, small changes will add up together to make a big difference in the case of solar power.
Solar power has always been the future. Solar panels are mounted on space ships, satellites, and now, your home. Tesla’s tiles are just the beginning. We’ll see more and more companies create innovative solutions that will cover our cities, towns, and neighborhoods with solar panels.
If it means we can create a better future, more sustainable living, then we should embrace the new age of solar power.