- By Amanda Pelligra
- Published 01/25/2012
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been used by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include of solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture, which can make large assistance to solving some of the most critical problems the world currently faces. Concentrated solar power Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. The concentrated heat is then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant. A wide range of concentrating technologies exists; the most developed are the parabolic trough, the concentrating linear fresnel reflector, the Stirling dish and the solar power tower. Various techniques are used to track the Sun and focus light. In all of these systems a working fluid is heated by the concentrated sunlight, and is then used for power generation or energy storage. Photovoltaics A solar cell, or photovoltaic cell (PV), is a device that converts light into electric current using thephotoelectric effect. The photons which make up light bombard the solar PV panel and dislodge electrons from their resting places. These electrons randomly flow around inside the silicon leaving holes in their place. Due to the laws of physics, the electrons then recombine. During all of this activity, energy is released and is what we capture and is called the photovoltaic effect. What are its benefits in Australia?
Australian government has introduced subsidy for homeowners, businesses and community groups by the name of “Solar Credits” to bri
ng down the cost involved in installing solar panels. It was passed into law on 20th August 2009, but the policies keep changing the details of the rebate (usually reducing it with very small notice period!). The more you collect the Solar Credits more is the benefit you get from the government. This helps in actually reducing the cost involved in installing the solar power plants in your place. Of course the cost will vary by a few thousand either way depending on various brand of panels and inverters each supplier uses, and their overheads, but if you feel that the current prices are beyond your expectations, then solar may not be for you right now. But if you add the system cost to your mortgage it can be surprisingly affordable. Also if you take rising electricity costs into account than you can be assured of one thing that in a long term, you will be refunded with all your initial cost. There is a solar payback calculator here for you to make your own mind up. Usually, typical cost of an installed 1.5kW solar system can be around $6,500 which can prove costly, but you get government Rebate of $3,000 making your actual cost to you for 1.5KW of solar power to Approx $3,500. 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. Even more important than that is 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.
One thing is for sure that being a part of the world responsible for clean environment makes you feel proud. I am sure you will also like to be one of them.