Electricity and fossil fuels play an essential role in the development of technology. Still, fossil fuels have been depleted and are contributing to the ever concerning climate crisis, forcing researchers to look for alternative sources of power.
One such source is… solar energy – it is renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can convert the sun’s rays into electricity.
Solar has a never ending energy with no cost and PV panels less maintenance than fossil fuel alternatives yet there are still some misconceptions about solar. So in this blog, we will bust them and provide you with the latest facts.
1. It’s better to wait until solar panels come down in price
Solar costs have dropped considerably (approximately 80%) during the last two decades, making it both financially and environmentally advantageous.
Given the historical price decline of solar equipment, dropping from above $5.66 per watt in 2000 to an average of $0.27 per watt in 2022, this question seems reasonable. One might predict that solar photovoltaic panels will become more affordable in a few short years by examining the decreasing trends in recent years.
However, have you thought about the possibility of how much money using solar energy would save you beginning with the first year of the installation?
Why switching to solar in 2023 makes sense:
- The price of electricity and fuel have grown dramatically and will keep growing.
- Solar energy benefits the environment. Solar panels convert sunshine into energy that can be used by your farm or place of business. This lowers the demand for fossil fuels and lowers carbon emissions.
- Solar panels require little to no maintenance. Well-designed and installed solar systems require no scheduled maintenance.
- There are a number of incentives, schemes and programs that reduce the upfront cost of a solar system. But In the upcoming years, favourable government subsidies for solar energy could either decline or completely disappear.
2. It’s too cold for solar panels in the North to work
Winter and Northern latitudes do not hinder the performance of solar panels as much as you might think. Most solar irradiance comes in spring/summer/fall months and there is plenty of energy to be used no matter where you are.
What’s more, the cold weather actually increases the efficiency of electrical currents in solar panels (like in all electrical devices) by reducing the resistance of the wiring. So solar panels will actually perform more efficiently at around 20ºC / 70ºF.
3. You need a tracking system to follow the sun
To convert solar energy into electricity, we need photovoltaic panels. Panels can be used in two ways:
Fixed – set in the ground or on a roof at an angle that allows the sun rays to pass through.
Tracked – the panel is designed to rotate in the direction of the sun.
The angle at which the panel is fixed or rotates also affects the transformation of solar energy into electric power. Although tracking systems follow the path of the sun to generate maximum power, this is really only seen on large scale installations. It is simply not needed in most cases, as solar PV systems can still work well when installed at an optimum angle to receive maximum radiation. Also, tracking systems make solar PV systems more expensive and increase the potential need for maintenance.
4. Size and appearance of panels
It’s incorrect that solar panels are bulky. Due to new research and technology, panels have become less bulky and more efficient than ever before. There are even small and portable set ups for everyday uses such as charging your phone or powering lights and small appliances.
Although beauty is subjective, we believe that panels have gotten far more appealing in recent years. The majority are now entirely black and sleek. A far cry from the silver and blue modules of the past.
Despite their impressive capability of converting sunlight into usable energy, solar panels have a relatively simple construction, with no moving parts or complicated machinery. When installed correctly, solar panels are designed to last for 20-30 years with minimal upkeep. As a result, there’s not much to worry about in terms of regular maintenance.
However, you will need to keep a close eye on the physical condition of your system, making sure your panels are clean and free from debris. If your panels are dirty, you can let the rain wash them naturally or rinse them with a garden hose.
Solar Water Pump vs Traditional Pumps
As we all know, the weather is increasingly volatile largely as a result of climate change. This has wide-ranging impacts on smallholders who rely on rain-fed irrigation. Many of these farmers use diesel pumps and manual pumps for irrigation, but the cost of fuel is rising every day, and manual alternatives are inefficient since they require more labour.
Solar powered irrigation is an increasingly popular and cost-effective option, with countries such as Ethiopia even banning imports on diesel pumps in favour of solar due to their many benefits.
By using solar energy to power your water pump, you will be able to:
- Save money, as you do not need to keep buying fuel
- Have more time to do other things, as no labour is needed to pump the water
- Be able to irrigate in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way
- Grow more efficiently and achieve higher yields
- Take control and irrigate when you want to