The ultimate source of energy on earth radiating energy in the form of light and heat, light is converted into electricity by photo-voltaic effect whereas heat is used in diverse applications like boiling water, cooking food, steam generation by using heat collectors.
Interesting fact Sun is generating enough power in one hour that can meet global energy demand for one year, but we are harnessing only 0.001% of that radiating energy.
In the first article, we discuss more on basic about solar power system. Here, we will discuss more on advantages disadvantages of solar power system;
Advantages of Solar Energy
Source of Renewable Energy
Solar Energy is the clean and renewable energy source, distributed across the world and can be harnessed anywhere. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy. Solar energy will be accessible as long as we have the sun.
Reduction in Electricity bills
Once you have installed solar power plant you started saving electricity bills, your savings depends on the plant capacity and load demand,
Load demand = Solar power plant capacity, Bill = ZERO
Load demand > Solar power plant capacity, Bill = Difference in the load value X per unit charges
Load demand < solar power plant capacity, Bill = Negative, Export the differential to grid and generate money via a net meter.
Nowadays solar are used in different applications like generating electricity, powering satellite, boiling water, generating steam etc. Architects also started integrating solar panels and water heater in green buildings.
Government offering subsidy and other incentives to promote solar at domestic and commercial level. At residential level government offering 15-30% subsidy in India depending on your state. While at the Commercial level, one can get up to 90% depreciation, carbon credits also help in saving a lot.
Unlike other energy generating sources like coal, gas, hydro, nuclear etc, Solar doesn’t create any kind of environmental pollution like land, water, air or noise pollution.
Pollution free means you are doing no harm to the environment surrounding you. You aren’t producing heat you are actually conserving it. All this can happen just by using solar energy. When heat is being conserved the ozone layer remains safe.
As we know the only solar panel is required to convert sun energy in usable energy source, so you only need to keep them relatively clean, cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. Most reliable solar panel manufacturers give 20-25 years warranty. Also, as there are no moving parts, there is no wear and tear. Only Inverter and battery are usually the part that needs to change after 5-10 years because it is continuously working to convert solar energy into electricity (solar PV) and heat (solar thermal). So, after covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect very little spending on maintenance and repair work.
Longer plant life
Solar panels come with 20-25 year warranty, most of the integrators give 5-year system warranty. After 8-10 year only replacing item will be Inverter.
So we can say after installing solar plant you can live happily for up to 25 years.
Faster R.O.I.(return on investment)
After comparing the per unit cost of electricity generated by solar and supplied by grid are same for small usage like for 200-300 units/month but for large consumption, solar outnumbered grid supply cost. Then ROI is 3-4 years only.
Also if you considered the cost of power generated by Diesel generators or other external sources then your ROI reduces to 2-3 years only.
Solar is not a centralized source of power like other electricity generating sources, power can be generated anywhere only we need is clear sunny sky. While in other sources of power generation like coal, hydro, nuclear, these plants are installed at the outskirts then power is generated and supplied to the other part which is more expensive and has a high failure rate.
Disadvantages of Solar Energy
The initial cost to purchase a solar power plant is high. But Government policies and loan facility encourage people to go for solar.
Although solar energy is available during cloudy and rainy days still the efficiency remains very low. So there is very less generation during non-sunny days.
You can also consider the point that there is no power generation during nights.
Solar has to be used as generated or can be stored in large batteries. As batteries are used which are very expensive to use and maintain. So the best practice is to use solar during day and grid in the night, but in the area where there are a lot of power cuts and no electricity then solar is the batteries are the best option compare to diesel generators cost.
To generate 1KWp power via solar it requires 8-10Sqm space which is much higher than the other sources. More the power requirement more space we need, so the power generation is also limited by space in solar power generation.
Anyways, If you don’t have the space for all the panels that you wanted, you can just get a fewer and they will still be satisfying some of your energy needs.