Get Ready for the Green Revolution
In 1879, Thomas Edison shocked the world with his electric lightbulb. As humanity realized the potential of electric power, electricity rapidly came to power all of our industries, our homes and the appliances within. Conventional energy sources include oil and coal, but in modern times, people have recognized the limits of these resources and the detrimental effects of their use on the environment. In response, more eco-friendly “green energy” alternatives are being adopted. Most popular among these new approaches is solar power, which harnesses the Sun’s natural energy.
Cleaner, Greener, Better
At least in sunny locations, solar power is a superior source of energy, having benefits both for the earth and for consumers. Unlike coal or gas, sunshine is a renewable resource that’s readily abundant across the planet, making solar power a sustainable solution.
After an initial investment in a solar array, extracting energy from sunlight is practically free. Even startup costs may be partially offset by the Solar ITC New Jersey, a federal tax credit for installing solar panels on your property.
Depending on the area, solar panels can exploit enough power to supplement or replace the standard electrical supply. Often, power companies will buy back any excess energy produced by solar panels.
The Science of Solar Power
Solar power is produced and extracted from solar panels. Basically, solar panels are sheets of reflective glass, underneath which are wires embedded with silicon “photovoltaic cells.” Exposed to the sun, the PV cells convert the light into electricity through a process resembling photosynthesis. Generally, solar panels are placed outdoors on rooftops, although large-scale arrays may be ground-mounted.
A solar array consists primarily of the panels and a setup for extracting electricity. Most importantly, this includes an inverter, which is necessary for converting the PV cells’ direct current into the normal power grid’s alternating current. Usually, a PV system also contains a battery bank for collecting surplus power.
The Next Generation of Energy
If current trends continue, solar power is bound for a bright future. In the new millennium, public interest has boomed as prices for PV systems have dropped dramatically. According to the International Energy Agency, solar power will become the biggest source of electricity by 2050. It’s astonishing to think that in 30 years, nature and technology will have combined into one force that powers our world.
In the coming years, energy demands will become ever more pressing. How to meet this consumption is a complicated question with no single answer. In many regions, solar power can provide the remedy. By taking your power straight from the sun, you’re doing your part to preserve the earth.