Solar energy is a rapidly growing market, which should be good news for the environment. However, before you install a solar system in your home, you need to weigh some of the main disadvantages. Since the cost of electricity increases between 3% and 5% each year, you may be considering alternative energy sources, such as solar energy.The replacement rate of solar panels is faster than expected and, given the current high recycling costs, there is a real danger that all used panels will go directly to landfill (along with equally difficult to recycle wind turbines). Regulators and industry players must begin to improve the economy and scale of recycling capacities before the solar panel flood hits. If you're in a prime location, you'll be lucky enough to get a conversion rate of more than 22%, with the best and most expensive technology available.
This means that residents in places like Canada and Russia are at a solar disadvantage. However, in places like Hawaii, where they have an average of 277 days a year of rain and clouds, their location at the equator is irrelevant because they simply don't have enough clear sunlight to reach the ground. For homeowners who want to install solar panels, the installation area is not going to be that important, especially when most of the time they are installed on the roof. However, large companies that want to produce a lot of energy will need a very large installation area to provide electricity on a consistent basis. The largest solar field is located in Spain and sits on 173 acres and provides power to nearly 12,000 homes. That's 173 acres of land that can't be used for anything else, like grazing animals.
According to Northwestern University's Qualitative Reasoning Group, most solar panels in people's homes convert only 14% of their available energy into energy. Even today's most efficient solar panels convert only 22% of their available energy into energy. According to the second law of thermodynamics, solar cells will never achieve 100% efficiency. The highest theoretical maximum efficiency is 85%, and that's with mirrors and motors to follow the sun. For a system that does not track the sun, the highest theoretical maximum efficiency is only 55%.
The same goes for systems that track the sun on cloudy days. Thinking about the installation area, land use by solar fields can be massive and, unlike wind energy, sharing land for agricultural uses is not an option. Solar energy also affects land use when it comes to mining and the production of the materials needed to produce photovoltaics. Compounds found in solar panels include cadmium and lead, extremely toxic metals. A number of other toxic and hazardous materials are used in the production of solar panels, including gallium arsenide, copper-indium-gallium diselenide, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and acetone. Other technical challenges for solar energy include increasing storage capacity.
In the US., improvements to expand solar energy transmission over long distances are also paramount, such as from Southern California where it is sunny to the cloudy northeast. Solar energy will be accessible as long as we have the sun; therefore sunlight will be available to us for at least 5 billion years when according to scientists the sun will die. Most trusted solar panel manufacturers offer 20-25 year warranty. In addition since there are no moving parts there is no wear and tear. Usually the inverter is the only part that needs to be changed after 5 to 10 years because it works continuously to convert solar energy into electricity and heat (solar photovoltaics vs.). In addition to the inverter, cables also need maintenance to ensure that your solar energy system operates at peak efficiency. Therefore after covering the initial cost of the solar system you can expect very little expense on maintenance and repair work.
The initial cost of buying a solar system is quite high; this includes payment for solar panels inverter batteries wiring and installation. However solar technologies are in constant development so it's safe to assume that prices will fall in future. Although pollution related to solar energy systems is much lower compared to other energy sources; solar energy can be associated with pollution. Transportation and installation of solar systems have been associated with emission of greenhouse gases. If we successfully build a space-based solar power plant its operation also faces several practical challenges. Solar panels could be damaged by space debris; in addition panels in space are not protected by Earth's atmosphere being exposed to more intense solar radiation means they will degrade faster than those on Earth which will reduce energy they are capable of generating. Finally when it comes to cost of a solar panel system it must also be put in relation to cost of other energy sources.
According to current technology only small fraction of solar energy collected would reach Earth. For example early adopters of solar panels were known to link chain of lead-acid batteries create their own storage array; other method which is really ingenious uses solar energy produced create methanol from carbon dioxide instead electricity. Corporate lobbyists can make compelling case for government intervention focusing on idea that waste is negative externality rapid innovation needed for widespread adoption new energy technologies such as solar energy. As those systems fade more more solar trackers turning lithium-ion batteries or their low-maintenance VRLA battery equivalents for better results. Solar energy is rapidly replacing many unsustainable energy sources as price of solar panels has fallen; improper installation of solar panels could leave holes roof that could cause water leaks cause significant damage both outside inside your home.