Solar panels in a photovoltaic system absorb the sun’s rays as a source of energy for generating electricity or heating.
Ten advantages of solar panels
- Renewable energy source. Solar energy is not only sustainable; it is indefinitely renewable until the sun dies.
- Diverse applications. Solar power can be used in many ways, for example to generate electricity, charge batteries, power lights and heat water.
- Low maintenance costs. Solar panels require little maintenance. They do not have any moving parts, so there is no wear and tear or danger of failure.
- No noise. Solar panels are a silent producer of energy, reducing noise pollution.
- Technology development. Constant innovations in quantum physics and nanotechnology can greatly increase the effectiveness of solar panels.
- Reduced electricity bills. Generating a portion of electricity needs from a solar system reduces electricity bills.
- Independence from grid. Solar panels protect against power outages and rising electricity prices. Improved energy storage and falling photovoltaic system costs make it feasible to become independent from the electricity grid.
- Free energy. After the initial cost of components and installation, solar panels generate free energy for use.
- Job creation. The solar power industry creates new jobs in manufacturing, construction, research and development.
- Environmentally friendly. Solar panel systems generate green, renewable energy with no pollution.
Seven disadvantages of solar panels
- Weather dependent. Solar panels need sunlight to gather solar energy effectively. A period of cloudy, rainy days can have a noticeable effect on the energy system. Solar energy also cannot be collected during the night.
- Positioning important. Solar panel energy output is maximised when the panel faces the sun directly. Household and other structures do not always allow for the ideal positioning of solar panels.
- Lack of efficiency. Even today’s most efficient solar cells only convert just over 20% of the sun’s rays into electricity.
- High initial cost. Solar panels require a substantial initial investment.
- Solar energy storage expensive. Solar energy must either be used immediately or stored in deep cycle solar batteries with PV inverters, which are
- Space required. Extensive space is needed to house enough solar panels for significant electricity production.
- Manufacturing risks. Toxic materials and hazardous products used in manufacturing solar panels can indirectly affect the environment.
What do oil company executives, vampires and NASA bureaucrats all have in common? They fear solar energy.
– Michio Kaku, American professor of theoretical physics