The world today is changing in a dramatic way. Within the last year we have seen upward swings of $2 and $3 in the price of gasoline. Carbon fuels are continuing to change the world climate. The world population is growing and as a result so is the demand for energy especially now that under developed countries like China are beginning to expand and require more and more of the earth’s resources. However, nature has given us an unending power source that does not impact the earth in any harmful way but is the very energy that is absorbed by life itself.
This energy source is the sun and we are now beginning to find ways to utilize this infinite power that can be used by businesses and homes alike. Affordable solar power is finally making its way onto the world stage and it is here where we must put our efforts if we are to prevent the climatic change that is occurring on the planet.
Solar energy is the radiant heat from the sun. This power of the sun has been harnessed in various ways by mankind for many centuries. There is a simple experiment that anyone can do to see the power that exists in sunlight. Use a magnifying glass to focus the sun into a small dot on a piece of paper. It won’t take long before the paper begins to burn. I saw this effect happen once in real life when the outside Christmas lights caught a bush on fire by focusing the sun’s energy on the dried twigs of the bush.
Solar power today is performed through the use of solar panels which convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy using photovoltaics. How does this work? Well, sunlight is made up of small particles called photons. As these photons hit the solar cell they smash into electrons on the solar panel which are then knocked into a high state of energy and thus create electricity.
The use of solar panels was first used to power satellites. These solar panels are made up of solar cells which produce direct current electricity from light. The direct current in turn can be used to power equipment or recharge a battery.
The price to create a kilowatt of electricity from solar power has been decreasing over time as more and more panels are put into use. In 2006 the average cost for a residential system per installed watt was between $7.50 and $9.50. The price is now around $4 per watt.
For a residential consumer, solar electric prices are around 20 cents per kilowatt hour which is 2-5 times the going price of electricity. However, in remote areas the price is reduced to approximately 0.2 to 0.8 times the cost of a competing energy source. So, as can be seen from this, if remote areas can save money from solar power, it is possible to reduce your current energy bill by converting certain functions into an affordable solar power application.
A few of the early applications of affordable solar power include hot water systems for the home as well as for business. Today along the highways and local streets phone boxes, street lights, speed monitors, and video cams are all powered with solar power. You can purchase residential low voltage outside lights that are power by solar cells. These and other affordable application for business residential use is covered in this site.
Affordable solar power for your home is now on the horizon. If you haven’t considered converting your home to solar you should. It’s now within your reach to do so and there are many reasons why.
The good news is that if you haven’t looked into solar power for homes recently, you will be in for quite a surprise. Where once it would take thousands of dollars of investment for you to switch to solar power and install solar panels to your house, there are now do-it-yourself solar panel kits on the market. These kits are affordable and relatively easy for a seasoned do-it-yourself-er to install.
A British college student has invented a solar-powered fridge made of cheap everyday materials that can be used in Third World countries.