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Journal for powerefficiencyguidJournal for powerefficiencyguid
Sep
3
Happy
Are Fossil fuels forever?

Fossil fuel is finite. That means it would not last forever. There is only so much oil that can be pumped out of the ground or seabed. Burning fossil fuel releases harsh pollutants into the environment. You can contribute to environment conservation by using cheap solar energy. But I have heard many complaints about solar energy efficiency.

Engineering Solar Energy

You can basically tap into the sun energy in one of two ways: convert sunlight into electricity or collect the sun heat for heating purposes. Power Efficiency Guide The solar thermal approach to solar energy reflects the sun heat from mirrors onto a pipe filled with fluid. As the fluid heats up, it can boil water to supply your home. On the other hand, photovoltaic cells or solar panels utilize silicon as a semiconductor to absorb the sun rays and produce electricity.

There have been plenty of advances in engineering that have boosted solar power efficiency. Solar thermal power is about 30% efficient in converting the heat of the sun into electricity. This is double the efficiency of solar panels. So that makes solar thermal systems a lot cheaper than solar panels. But the solar dishes have to be very large to capture enough sunlight to concentrate for heating. That is definitely not practical for your home. That is why most houses use compact solar panels instead.

New Advances

Compared to the early 2000 years, the silicon wafers on solar panels are now 40% thinner. Up to 36 silicon wafers are located on one solar panel which is now about 20% - 40% efficient in converting solar energy to electricity. The sort of electricity you get is called direct current or D.C. This has to be converted to alternating current, or A.C, before you can use it to power your toaster and washing machine. There is an inverter that does the job for you. So that means solar power efficiency from solar panels becomes very much reduced due to the electricity conversion process.

Scientists argue that the maximum efficiency you can get from present day technology for silicon based solar panels is only 40%. Therefore, to get the highest amount of returns from your solar energy systems, you should use passive solar heating techniques coupled with direct sunlight for day lighting in your home. By using the highest efficiency level solar panels for your other energy requirements such as household appliances you can maximize solar power efficiency.

Solar Power Efficiency Rates

Although many folks have switched to using solar panels and solar water heating systems, current solar power efficiency rates mean that solar power can only provide about 70% of the energy requirements of your household. Despite the ability of storing energy in batteries, you can not rely on solar energy during prolonged periods of cold weather with weak sunshine. So you should also be connected to a utility network that provides you with power at the flick of a switch.
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