Solar Energy – Energy Efficiency At it’s best.
The sun an energy powerhouse of incredible proportions.
In one HOUR , the earth absorbs more energy than the world uses in ONE YEAR. This is the power of the sun. If the sun’s power output for a single second could be harnessed, it would satisfy the World’s energy demands for the next million years!” Transcribed by Jeff Fenske from: The Sun (2009), broadcast on the Science Channel.
If properly utilised this energy source could account for a significant amount of our energy requirements for the next million years…and then some. In this feature , we will look at some options for water, heating and light that are now available for use in the market.
Solar Energy – Heat and Light to Energy.
So , we have two basic options – Thermal systems and Photovoltaic systems…Sounds complicated but actually not. Thermal systems use the heat of the sun to heat water – a great example is that of Solar Water heater or Solar Geysers.
These Solar Energy Power systems use the heat of the sun to heat water through a series of pipes and then distribute this heated water back to your homes for use in baths and showers. Instead of using the geyser to heat the water using the electrical element which uses power and costs you money, the solar geyser or thermal solar systems use the heat of the sun to heat the water that flows through the pipes , usually on the roof and that gives you a lovely hot shower to bath.
In south Africa ,where we receive PLENTY of sun , this is a great option to reduce on eof the biggest costs in electricity usage in the home.
Solar energy geysers are super efficient and cost effective and with the subsidy available on some products , it will cost you much less than you might think.
The geyser works by feeding cold water from the water supply through the piping which get extremely hot as it absorbs the heat from the sun during the day. That heat is then transferred into the water , making it hot and that water is then fed back into the geyser waiting for you to turn on the hot water and enjoy a sun powered shower!
You’ve seen these all over South Africa and they are especially efficient and effective for low cost housing projects.
Solar Energy – Photovoltaic Systems.
So, as the word implies , photovoltaic systems convert the light (photo) to electrical volts (voltaic) by using silicone crystals which have an amazing property of being able to convert light to electricity when exposed to sunlight. There are vast fields of these photovoltaic panels all over the world , being used both by industry and private individuals looking for a cheaper energy solution.
An Example of Photovoltaic Panels capturing the light of the sun and converting it to electricity. So , as we can see, it makes a lot of sense to utilise this incredible and almost infinite source of energy to really effect energy and cost savings everyday in our lives. While the sun will die in about 5 Billion years from now – the application of solar energy remains the most abundant source of renewable clean energy we have.
See the video below for more info.
For more on these specific solar systems, see the other pages in this section from the main menu.