5 Great Reasons To Choose Solar Power As Your Energy Resource

Solar energy is energy that is harvested from the sun. Our sun is an abundant source of energy; it gives of heat and light. The sun’s been revered by several cultures of the past and even by a few cultures still present today. The ancient Egyptians even worshiped the sun as a God.

All said and done, it was not misplaced respect; the sun certainly is an abundant and limitless source of power, at least for several generations to come; the merits for using its solar energy are numerous.

It’s free

Every morning with each dawn, the solar energy released by the sun comes filtered through our atmosphere providing light and helping to radiate heat. This has been happening for millions of years yet it is only recently that we have begun to capitalize on this abundant source of almost infinite power.

In the past the Greeks and the Egyptians have been known to harness the power of the sun to heat whatever they wished to by concentrating its radiation.

It’s non-polluting

The energy from the sun is clean and free of any pollutants; unlike various sources of energy present today like petroleum or organic fuels that leave back residues and often leave back harmful gases when utilized to create energy.

Extremely reliable

The sun has been burning for roughly four and a half billion years now and is likely to burn on for another four to five billion years to come. That’s definitely more than our lifetimes and certainly more than several generations of the future. Every morning it promptly shows up and vanishes for the evening while it lights up another portion of the globe.

The saying “as sure as day” did not come about for nothing; assuming the sun is shining brightly, depending on which part of the globe you are you can harness the energy of the sun to either store it away or utilize its energy in a different way.


There is no restriction on how much energy we can use from the sun. Apparently, the amount of energy that comes from the sun every few minutes if successfully harnessed can power the entire United States of America for a whole year. If we were only able to harness the immense energy of the sun we would be able to solve all the worlds’ energy problems.


Ever wonder why no one thought about this earlier? How come if there’s so much energy just lying around, we simply cannot seem to efficiently harness it? How it that so much of the sun energy seems to go totally unnoticed and is ultimately wasted?

Well one of the reasons that this wonderful power reserve is generally wasted is the fact that the sunlight that we actually receive is so thinly dissipated across the earth to be able to contribute substantially enough if we try to harness it.
For us to be able to actually harness the power of the sun we have to be able to manipulate, focus and store the sun’s energy. While this may seem simple it is easier said than done; So far we have only managed to develop three partially successful means of collecting solar energy.

The Reflection Method – Mirrors / Parabola

The reflection method is based on the concentration of the sun’s rays through a single or a set of mirrors onto one point and then utilizing the concentrated heat energy that is produced for out need. A parabolic mirror much like a dish antenna can be used to capture the sun’s rays and focus them on a single point.

The radiation method

This is the principle behind the solar water heaters. Painted black pipes sandwiched between two layers of glass, have water inside them that is heated thanks to the rays of the sun.

Solar panels

A more recent invention the ‘solar cell’ is composed of treated silicon crystals, which when hit by the rays of the sun knock electrons out of their orbits and thereby create a void that needs to be filled by electrons from the other silicon crystals, this creates an imbalance of electrons and hence a flow of current which can be either immediately utilized or else stored away in a rechargeable battery.

What’s stopping us?

Despite the apparent benefits of using solar power it is most unfortunate that there are very few solar power plants around the world. Sadly, with today’s level of technology, cost and reliability are two major factors that are still hurdles in the way of mass usage of solar energy.

Technological limitations dictate that the most efficient solar cells created today are still not capable of generating enough power to be commercially viable without occupying huge surface areas. Furthermore, reliance exclusively on solar cells in not yet practical, for if there were to be a cloudy day it could reduce the amount of electricity generated and that would be disastrous for those people completely reliant on that energy.

On the bright side, constant innovation and research on solar energy is resulting in much more efficient solar cells that are a fraction of the size of existing cells and churn out much more power. For now they are still expensive, but not far is the day when they will be affordable and available to the common man.

What Is Renewable Energy

What is Renewable Energy? Renewable energy is that source of energy that does not diminish and gets their replenishment of energies from other natural sources like wind, sun, flowing water, geothermal flows of heat and biological processes.

With the depletion in resources of fossil fuel there seems to be a growing demand for solutions that can generate the same output but will not die out at the same time. Using renewable energy resources also is environmentally friendly as we are only taking what nature has to offer, and generating energy from it.

Almost 18 % of energy consumption globally was from renewable energy sources in the year 2006. The Geysers in United States, California is one of the world’s largest geothermal installations. The leader in Ethanol fuel is Brazil, this fuel drawn out of sugarcane, is used to drive vehicles. The highest ownership in household solar is Kenya, where most of the households draw their energy from solar power stations.

With so much happening globally in terms of renewable resources, several countries now have passed legislations that will help increase its use. This has seen a trend in increase in market demand for newer technologies in the renewable energy resource industry.

Renewable energy is definitely cost effective and since it can be renewed there is no fear of running out of that source of energy since it is Mother Nature that renews it. As renewable energy resources offer a definitive supply of energy it definitely reduces the dependency on other non renewable energy supplies. Use of renewable energy is also environmentally friendly as it reduces the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, making it possible for a cleaner and greener environment.

The use of renewable energy is currently recorded at 15.5% gross in Denmark and is higher than 27% of other generated electricity. By the year 2025, the Danish government proposes to see an increase in the renewable energy consumption upto 30%
The various types from where energy can be drawn are;

Solar Thermal Energy
Wind Power
Wave Power
Geothermal Energy
Biofuel Technologies
Heat Pumps
Waste Incineration

The energy that we now use like petrol and gas are all drawn from non renewable resources, and with it being exploited to the fullest, it won’t be long when we run out of these sources. Why not make use of what Mother Nature has to offer!


Alternative Energy Source And The Need For A Proper Storage Technology

A number of energy storage technologies have been developed or are under development for electric power applications, including:

* Pumped hydropower
* Compressed air energy storage (CAES)

* Batteries

* Flywheels

* Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES)

* Super-capacitors

This is the future that we can safely anticipate, especially when there is a rapid depletion of other energy resources. Of course, the most important energy resource still remains the sun from where we can derive solar power and fulfill various energy and power requirements. Off late, many companies have started to build mono-crystalline and polycrystalline solar cells, which can be used in several sectors like aerospace, the aviation industry, residential power generation, traffic lights, automobiles etc. Solar energy apart from other renewable energies is being looked at as one of the key areas because it is a clean energy source.

Pumped Hydro

Pumped hydro has been in use since 1929, making it the oldest of the central station energy storage technologies. In fact, until 1970 it was the only commercially available storage option for generation applications.

Conventional pumped hydro facilities consist of two large reservoirs, one is located at base level, and the other is situated at a different elevation. Water is pumped to the upper reservoir where it can be stored as potential energy. Upon demand, water is released back into the lower reservoir, passing through hydraulic turbines, which generate electrical power as high as 1,000 MW.

The barriers to increased use of this storage technology in the U.S. include high construction costs and long lead times as well as the geographic, geologic, and environmental constraints associated with reservoir design. Currently, efforts aimed at increasing the use of pumped hydro storage are focused on the development of underground facilities.

Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES)

CAES plants use off-peak energy to compress and store air in an airtight underground storage cavern. Upon demand, stored air is released from the cavern, heated, and expanded through a combustion turbine to create electrical energy.

In 1991, the first U.S. CAES facility was built in McIntosh, Alabama, by the Alabama Electric Cooperative and EPRI, and has a capacity rating of 110 MW. Currently, manufacturers can create CAES machinery for facilities ranging from 5 to 350 MW. EPRI has estimated that more than 85% of the U.S. has geological characteristics that will accommodate an underground CAES reservoir.

Studies have concluded that CAES is competitive with combustion turbines and combined-cycle units, even without attributing some of the unique benefits of energy storage.


In recent years, much of the focus in the development of electric energy storage technology has been centered on battery storage devices. There is currently a wide variety of batteries available commercially and many more in the design phase.

In a chemical battery, charging causes reactions in electrochemical compounds to store energy from a generator in a chemical form. Upon demand, reverse chemical reactions cause electricity to flow out of the battery and back to the grid.

The first commercially available battery was the flooded lead-acid battery, which was used for fixed, centralized applications. The valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery is the latest commercially available option. The VRLA battery is low-maintenance, spill- and leak-proof, and relatively compact.


Flywheels are currently being used for a number of non-utility related applications. Recently, however, researchers have begun to explore utility energy storage applications. A flywheel storage device consists of a flywheel that spins at a very high velocity and an integrated electrical apparatus that can operate either as a motor to turn the flywheel and store energy or as a generator to produce electrical power on demand using the energy stored in the flywheel.

Advanced Electrochemical Capacitors/Super-Capacitors
Super-capacitors are also known as ultra-capacitors are in the earliest stages of development as an energy storage technology for electric utility applications. An electrochemical capacitor has components related to both a battery and a capacitor.

Consequently, cell voltage is limited to a few volts. Specifically, the charge is stored by ions as in a battery. But, as in a conventional capacitor, no chemical reaction takes place in energy delivery. An electrochemical capacitor consists of two oppositely charged electrodes, a separator, electrolyte, and current collectors.

Presently, very small super-capacitors in the range of seven to ten watts are widely available commercially for consumer power quality applications and are commonly found in household electrical devices. Development of larger-scale capacitors has been focused on electric vehicles.

The future is something that we can’t predict but yes, as time passes, most of the current energy sources will reach a point from where we will not be able to use them. This is where alternative energy sources come into play and will be one of the major driving forces of the world energy requirements.