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Advantages of Solar Energy in South Africa

Advantages of Solar Energy in South Africa

The consumption of non-renewable energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal are increasing at a very fast rate. The rate at which consumption is increasing is alarming, to say the least. It’s time to look for alternative options. Here are a few facts and the advantages of solar energy if you are wanting to live in the green zone.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is any process that converts sunlight into usable energy. The sun has always produced energy. It’s the driving force behind all life on our planet. It’s renewable, and can be used in a variety of fashions to sustainable fuel homes, produce hot water, and produce electricity.

One of the advantages of solar energy is that it doesn’t release any pollutants as a byproduct of energy conversion. It’s sustainable, requires little maintenance,  and is easy to install. The only obvious limitation on solar energy is the fact that it can’t be harnessed at night. The weather is also a factor that can limit the potential of solar energy. Below are 40 facts about solar energy.

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40 Facts About Solar Energy

Fact 1: Solar energy is free and abundant. On the scientific side of things, the sun is 90 million miles from earth, but its rays take less than ten minutes to reach our planet.

Fact 2: It is made up of radiant heat and light from the sun, can be harnessed with a ton of modern technology. This technology includes photovoltaic, solar heating, artificial photosynthesis, and solar thermal electricity.

Fact 3: Solar technology can be placed into two categories: active and passive. Photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors, both of which harness it and they are both examples of active solar technology. Passive technology includes the construction of buildings or infrastructure to passively accommodate sunlight for the benefit of the structure.

Fact 4: The earth gets 174 Petwatts of incoming solar radiation in the upper portion of its atmosphere. 30% is reflected back to outer space and the other 70% is absorbed by oceans, clouds, and landmasses.

Fact 5: The water cycle plays an important part in solar insulation. The earth, oceans, and atmosphere all absorb solar radiation, causing their temperature to increase. Convection is caused by warm air rising from the ocean. When the air rises to a high enough altitude, clouds are created based on condensation of water vapor. Clouds cause rain, which cycles water back to earth’s surface. This completes the water cycle.

Fact 6: Another on of the advantages of solar energy is its alternative uses. Additionally it fuels photosynthesis. This fuels the creation of chemical energy by plants, which drives the creation of a biomass responsible for the gradual occurrence of fossil fuels.

Fact 7: Horticulture and agriculture seek to use it as much as possible. Techniques include timing of planting cycles and mixing of plant varieties and families. Greenhouses use it by converting light into heat for year-round crop cultivation.

Fact 8: Solar powered hot water systems use it to heat water. In some areas, as much as 70% of water used for residential purposes is a product of solar heating. The water can be used at an exceedingly high temperature! Find out more about rainwater harvesting systems.

Fact 9: An example of a passive solar system is a solar chimney. This passive solar ventilation system utilizes a glaze, which causes heat to roll down the chimney.

Fact 10: It has been used time and time again to purify water. The production of salt is one of the oldest methods and one of the advantages of solar energy.

Fact 11: Clothes can be dried in the sun, as well as in any temperature that’s above freezing.

Fact 12: Food can be cooked, canned, and dried using solar radiation.

Fact 13: Solar power is a particularly exciting way to use solar energy. Large beams of sunlight are focused into a small beam by the means of mirrors or lenses. This method can be performed either directly or indirectly through the photovoltaic or concentrated solar power methods. Electrical energy can also be produced as well, through the photoelectric effect.

Fact 14: Solar chemical processes replace fossil fuels as a source of chemical energy. By doing so, the energy becomes more storable and transportable. Photosynthesis can create a plethora of fossil fuels. A lot of solar chemical research has recently focused on the synthesis of hydrogen.

Fact 15: Solar storage systems are a passive way to take advantage of the sun’s energy. Constructed out of material with a high specific heat, these systems can be quite efficient.

Fact 16: The oil crisis of 1970 revealed the delicate nature of our dependence on fossil fuels like oil. Alternative energy research began, because of this, and gained momentum.

Fact 17: It is being recognised as the future of alternative energy. It’s non-pollutive and combats the greenhouse effect, which is the earthly warming of our planet based on the burning of fossil fuels.

Fact 18: Solar panels are a common domestic use of solar energy. The energy can be used to cook and heat water.

Fact 19: Another one of the advantages of solar energy is that it doesn’t produce any type of pollution. It’s also ecologically acceptable and doesn’t produce any ill-natured environmental effects.

Fact 20: Solar energy is a very widely-used source of renewable energy. Solar energy can be used to convert sunlight into electricity.

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Fact 21: Space vehicles are often powered by solar energy.

Fact 22: On top of being renewable, one of the advantages of solar energy is that its also a very reliable source of energy.

Fact 23: New advancement in scientific research points to a potential for solar energy that’s more affordable, without increases in cost.

Fact 24: Solar energy has a massive potential as well as long-term advantages, both of which could prove its ability to be a major source of renewable energy.

Fact 25: Our planet receives roughly 1,366 watts per square meter of solar radiation, annually.

Fact 26: The largest solar power plant is a 1000-acre plant that’s located in the Mojave Desert of California.

Fact 27: If you’re in need of a temporary power source, solar energy should be preferred. Places such as mining sites or competitions such as the Olympics are all perfect for solar power.

Fact 28: Calculators can be powered by solar energy.

Fact 29: Solar panels are almost maintenance free, since the batteries require no water or routine service, and will usually last for long periods of time. There are no recurring costs once solar panels are installed. This is a one of the biggest advantages of solar energy.

Fact 30: Solar power can drastically reduce electric bills. Additionally, there are plenty of tax incentives and rebate programs designed to push the frequent use of solar energy. These programs spur the solar energy movement and save homeowners money at the same time.

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Fact 31: Solar energy is free of noise pollution. There are no moving parts or additional fuel associated with solar power. Sunlight is the only ingredient required for power production.

Fact 32: A home solar panel system consists of several parts. Several solar panels and inverter, a battery, a charge regulator, wiring, and support materials all are part of an at-home solar panel system. Sunlight is converted into energy and stored in a battery, which distributes electricity to be used during times with little sunlight.

Fact 33: Battery backup is an important facet of solar energy production; solar energy can be made available on the cloudiest days.

Fact 34: Solar energy is measured in kilowatt per hour. One kilowatt is equivalent to one thousand watts.

Fact 35: Solar energy is starting to get used on a wider scale, but still only makes up a fraction of the world’s energy supply.

Fact 36: Solar energy is used for many purposes, such as electric, evaporation, biomass, heating water, buildings, and even transportation.

Fact 37: Because of its large investment, solar energy isn’t widely used around the world.

Fact 38: Additionally, solar energy has been used for over 2700 years. As far back as 700 BC, glass lenses were used to make fire by channelling beams of light from the sun’s rays.

Fact 39: The sun is also one of the main sources of non-renewable fossil fuels. These fossil fuels are composed of decomposed organic matter that once stood on this planet, millions of years ago.

Fact 40: The sun’s rays are often blocked by both clouds and pollution.

Since the beginning of time, the sun has beamed rays of energy-providing light to the earth’s surface. Solar energy harnesses this light and uses it for energy. As of now, a fraction of earth’s energy needed is supplied by solar energy. With this being said, the potential for future growth in the field of solar energy is enticing, to say the least.

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