What is solar energy?
Solar Energy is the energy received from the sun that sustains life on earth. Solar energy is considered as a huge and also economical source of energy as it is freely available. After years of research we have developed such technology which can make solar energy useful in our day to day life.
India gets more than 5,000 trillion kWh of Solar Energy every year, which is more than the overall requirement of energy in the country. In future it is hoped that millions of homes and industries will switch to solar energy for fulfilling there energy requirements.
Solar Energy for home
In last few years the demand for Solar Energy has grown due to governments promotional policies which offer lucrative rebates to the users of Solar Energy. Also due to its non-polluting and renewable characteristics, people have increasingly shown their interest in installing photovoltaic installations on homes connected to utility grid to meet their electricity requirements.
The returns on the initial high costs of installation are in the form selling solar energy to the grid at premium rates and also in the form of long-term savings that come in the form of not having to pay any utility bills.
When you have a solar system that is connected to the utility grid, the regular generation of electricity is used at home and the excess electricity is exported to the utility. In this type of setup you would not require any batteries because any additional demand will be met from the grid supply. However, if you want to be free of the grid, battery storage will be required to supply power during night time and during cloudy or stormy conditions.
Farm houses, Holiday homes and other remote areas that don’t have access to the grid can utilize Solar Energy in a more cost-effective manner as compared to relying on the grid for running wires to the remote location.
The basic components required in the solar power system consists of a solar panel, battery for storing all the energy gathered during daytime, a regulator and essential switches and wiring. These types of systems are commonly known as Solar Home Systems (SHS).
Advantages of Solar Energy
- Solar Energy is a renewable and clean source of energy and you don’t have to pay any transmission cost.
- Now a days different types of solar solutions that are more convenient to install.
- Government offers lots of subsidies and incentives to promote use of Solar Energy which covers the initial installation costs.
- Depending upon your budget, you can get all or a part of your electricity requirements fulfilled by solar energy.
- You can also sell the additional electricity generated by your system.
- When batteries are used in the system to store electricity you can become entirely independent of the grid.
- The cost of the solar energy technology is continuously decreasing and the efficiency is improving significantly.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
- The initial cost of the installation and equipment is high.
- If there is shortage of space for installing solar panels, you would not be able to generate sufficient amount of Solar Energy required to meet your electricity requirements.
Even though Solar Energy has several disadvantages, they are not major in degree and the benefits of this renewable source of energy.
Solar Energy Cost
Solar panels are one of the most important factors in the generation of Solar Energy. The cost of 1 Sq. Ft. of Solar Panel is approximately Rs. 4,500. On an average, 1 Sq. Ft. of Solar Panel generates 10.6 Watts of power which is sufficient to light a room. So, if you want to power appliances like television, refrigerator and computer, you would need more solar panels. To install 60 to 70 solar panels on the roof to meet the overall electricity requirement of your home, you would have to consider solar grid-tie.
When you want to install Solar Energy system at home, you would require it to be sufficient for meeting all electricity requirements in home for a day plus it should generate enough power to store for 3 to 5 days for contingency purpose. Such a system would keep supplying power and getting charged when the days are sunny. During rain or winters it would be able to keep backup charge for a couple of days until the sun emerges. This means that such a solar power system is going to supply you a regular flow of electricity.