Advantages Versus Disadvantages of Solar Technology

Solar energy is derived from the sun’s radiation. The sun is a powerful energy source, and this energy source can be harnessed by installing solar panels and/or solar hot water systems.Thanks to various solar panel rebates as well as the ever-increasing higher demand, the technology has been improved considerably and has been complemented by solar battery storage systems, turning the sun’s energy into a into a significantly more efficient source of clean energy.

The key advantages and disadvantages of solar power is in the following table:

Pros and Cons of Solar Energy

Advantages of Solar Energy

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Renewable Energy Source

Cost

Lowers Electricity Bills

Weather Dependent

Diverse Applications

Solar Energy Storage is Costly

Low Maintenance Costs

Takes Up A Lot of Space

Technology Development

Solar Energy Does Not Work on

Every Roof

Advantages of Solar Energy

1. Renewable Energy Source

Among all the benefits of solar pv panels, the most important thing is that solar energy is a truly renewable energy source. It can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some of the other sources of energy. 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 is going to die.

2. Lowers Electricity Bills

Since you will be meeting some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar pv system has generated, your energy bills will lower. How much you save on your bill will be dependent on the size of the solar pv system and your electricity or heating/cooling usage. Moreover, not only will you be saving on the electricity bill, there is also a possibility to receive payments for the surplus energy that you export back to the grid. if you generate more electricity than you use (considering that your solar pv panel system is connected to the grid).

3. Diverse Applications

Solar energy can be used for diverse purposes. You can generate electricity (photovoltaics) or heat (solar thermal). Solar energy can be used to produce electricity in areas without access to the energy grid, to distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies and to power satellites in space. Solar energy can also be integrated into the materials used for buildings. Not long ago Sharp introduced transparent solar energy windows.

4. Low Maintenance Costs

Solar energy systems do not require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them clean, so cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. If in doubt, you can always rely on specialised cleaning companies, which offer this service. Most reliable solar panel manufacturers offer 20-25 years warranty. Also, as there are no moving parts, there is no wear and tear. The inverter is usually the only part that needs to changed after 5-10 years because it is continuously working to convert solar energy into electricity and heat. Apart from the inverter, the cables also need maintenance to ensure your solar power system runs at maximum efficiency. So, after covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect very little spending on maintenance and repair work.

5. Technology Development

Technology in the solar power industry is constantly advancing and improvements will intensify in the future. Innovations in quantum physics and nanotechnology can potentially increase the effectiveness of solar panels and double, or even triple, the electrical input of the solar power systems.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

1. Cost

The initial cost of purchasing a solar pv system is fairly high. This includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and for the installation. Nevertheless, solar technologies are constantly developing, so it is safe to assume that prices will go down in the future.

2. Weather Dependent

Although solar energy can still be collected during cloudy and rainy days, the efficiency of the solar system drops. Solar pv panels are dependent on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy. Therefore, a few cloudy, rainy days can have a noticeable effect on the energy system. You should also take into account that solar energy cannot be collected during the night. If you live in a colder climate look at evacuated tube solar hot water systems as these perform best in the winter months.

3. Solar Energy Storage Is Expensive

Solar energy has to be used right away, or it can be stored in large batteries. These batteries, used in off-the-grid solar systems, can be charged during the day so that the energy is used at night. This is a good solution for using solar energy all day long but it is also quite expensive. In most cases, it is smarter to just use solar energy during the day and take energy from the grid during the night (you can only do this if your system is connected to the grid). Your energy demand is usually higher during the day so you can meet most of it with solar energy.

4. Takes Up A Lot of Space

The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar pv panels you will need, as you want to collect as much sunlight as possible. Solar PV panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like to have. An alternative is to install some of the panels in your yard but they need to have access to sunlight. If you don’t have the space for all the panels that you wanted, you can opt for installing fewer to still satisfy some of your energy needs.

5. Solar Panels Do Not Work For Every Type Of Roof

Rooftop solar panels are installed by connecting a mounting system (also known as “racking”) to your roof. Certain roofing materials used in older or historical homes, such as slate, can be difficult for solar installers to work with, throwing up a roadblock for solar power. Additionally, many homes and apartment buildings have skylights or other rooftop additions like roof decks that can make the solar installation process difficult or costly.