- By Amanda Pelligra
- Published 01/25/2012
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity andsolar architecture, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces. Solar Thermal uses the sun’s heat directly to heat up another medium – usually water – without the need to generate any of that pesky electricity. Solar thermal systems use either flat plates or tubes to capture the sun’s heat and transfer the heat into a fluid. Solar thermal is typically used to boost the production of hot water. I use the word boost, because there will always be days when you don’t have enough sun to generate all your hot water needs, and the boosting is performed by either an electric element, a gas fired heater or (less commonly) other fuel heaters such as wood fired stoves. You will have seen the ‘solar thermal’ systems on roofs which typically appear like tray made of glass.
In the last 10 years, homes with rooftop solar arrays have gone from curiosity to commonplace. Getting solar systems in the mainstream residential market has proved to be challenging as it has traditionally been an expensive technology to implement. But the technology has matured over the years and this has meant that the long term cost-cutting benefits easily outweigh the initial
cost of implementation. Besides, it provides clean energy with no greenhouse-gas emissions.A typical solar power system uses arrays of photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity which is then stored into high-energy density batteries via a charge controlling circuitry. In Australia, the most important factor when choosing an installer is to ensure that they are “Clean Energy Council Accredited”. This is a qualification that they need in order for the government to pay out its rebates. And even more important than that it means that you can be confident that they have been trained in the safe installation of Solar Power Systems. You can sign up for free solar quotes at various websites and compare the prices offered by them to install the solar panels. Also you can provide with the correct size of the home and they will provide with the proper information on what is the right size of Solar panels that are required for your home in order for you to provide with continuous supply of electricity.
When it comes to costing, obviously this is very important, but it may not be the most significant factor in your purchase. Remember, this is a system that you will depend on every day for 20-40 years, so it is critical that you have a system that has a quality and performance that you are happy with. As is true with most things in this world: you generally get what you pay for. If you have been offered a system that seems spectacularly cheap then you may want understand that there are drawbacks associated common to a lot of super cheap solar deals.