Solar panels are growing like fire in the Australian market because of the benefits they pack with them and the promises they do. Solar panels are the most popular “green” source of energy among other renewable energy sources like wind energy, water energy etc. But are they worth the extra money you spend on them or sticking with the grid will be fine for you? Let’s discuss this in our complete guide to solar panels in Brisbane where we will tell you everything you need to know about solar energy.
How do Solar Panels Work?
In the first part of today’s article we will discuss how solar panels work to generate electricity from solar energy.
The earth receives more than 173 TW (Tera watts) of solar energy every day which is more than 10 times the world’s population will ever require in a day! So, how does so much of energy get converted into usable electricity and why don’t we fulfil all of our world energy needs with solar? We will discuss all of this further in the article but for now let’s discuss how solar energy gets converted into electricity.
The solar panels are nothing but a collection of many solar cells arranged in a pattern. These solar cells are the components which actually convert solar energy into electricity. Solar cells are made up of silicon, and silicon is the second most abundant material in our entire earth, which means that silicon is present in large amounts on earth which is sufficient to make a lot, really a lot of solar panels.
Now, silicon is the only material which is responsible for the conversion of solar energy to electricity. But the question arises how? Well silicon is a semiconductor, and if you are unaware of it then a semiconductor is a device which is, as the name suggests, half conductor and half insulator. Which means that it does not conduct complete electricity from it but it also doesn’t resist the flow of electricity from it.
The silicon semiconductor consists of two layers which are the N layer and the Player. The N layer is negatively charged and the P layer is positively charged. The N layer consists of negatively charged electrons and the P layer consists of positively charged holes.
Silicon is sandwiched between two conductive layers of metal where the silicon atom is held with its neighbors with the help of 4 strong bonds.
The light beam consists of a lot of fast moving packets of energy called photons. These photons move with a very high velocity. When they come in contact with the solar cell or the silicon semiconductor they break the bond between two silicon atoms and the broken bond separates into two parts which are the electron and the hole. As stated above the hole resides in the P Part hence they get attracted in the P part, and the electron gets attracted to the negatively charged N layer, which then gets attracted to the conductive metal in which the silicon semiconductor is sandwiched. The conductive layer takes the electron to the solar inverter where the inverter converts it into usable electricity.
The electricity is used by the house and after consumption the electron comes back to the same silicon semiconductor where it was generated and it gets transferred to the N layer of the silicon where it again gets charged, and travels through the inverter.
This cycle continues till the photons keep breaking the bond between two adjacent silicon atoms. Because the electron comes back to where it was originally generated, that is the solar cell or to be precise the Player of the silicon semiconductor, the solar panels last for decades and that’s the reason for its long life as nothing is being wasted or depreciated in the system hence the panels can withstand for a long time.
After knowing how the solar panels exactly work, let’s discuss the advantages of solar panels in Brisbane and why solar energy is the most popular alternative of the grid energy among other renewable energy sources like the windmills which use wind energy or the dams which use water energy.
Advantages of Solar Panels in Brisbane
In this part we are going to discuss the advantages of solar panels in Brisbane. We will talk about how solar panels can prove beneficial for us and why they are the most popular alternative to the grid’s energy. So let’s discuss the first advantage of solar energy in Brisbane which is its adaptability.
1. Easily Adaptable
The solar panels are the perfect fit for the residential power generating industry because no other energy resource except the grid can be used for generating energy for self-use in households.
The list of renewable energy resources are endless and the resources like Water energy or hydroelectricity, Biogas or commonly known as bioenergy, geothermal energy which is the energy of the heat present in the earth, are widely popular but not as much as solar energy.
All of these resources which we talked about are green energy resources which means they do not pollute the environment in any way in their operation and they do not require any kind of nonrenewable energy resource to work. This is unlike in the case of the grid whose most energy is generated by burning fossil fuels like coal which pollutes the environment extremely.
Water energy or hydroelectricity is used on a large scale by the government institutions and many business organizations to power their machines and factories but it cannot be used in the residential sector as it requires extensive amounts of space and water flow, so as to generate some energy.
Wind energy is used by farmers in the form of windmills. These windmills convert wind energy into electricity which is then used by these farmers to operate their water pumps which water their fields. But this also cannot be used in the residential sector as it has its own set of requirements like strong wind flow and a big space to place the windmills. Another downside of this is that they also generate very less energy as compared to solar panels.
This way only solar panels proves useful to the normal households aasy are very easy to adapt in any kind of situation. They can fit on the roof of the house hence they don’t require any extra space and they also need only sunlight to function hence they don’t have any special kind of requirements. That’s a big advantage, which should be considered for the solar panels.
2. Optimal for Australia
As we discussed earlier the solar panels only require sunlight in order to function and the more sunlight they get the better they will function and the more they will generate electricity. That’s where all stars align for Australia as this country receives one of the highest amounts of solar energy in the world.
Australia receives a massive amount of solar energy throughout the year thanks to its location in the southern hemisphere. Australia stays with full sun for a massive 283 days in a year which is sufficient to make it one of the best places to get solar panels.
The Australian government also understands the gift they have received from nature and that’s why they promote it so much. They have established the clean energy council, Australia which is an organization with the sole purpose of making people aware of solar energy and helping them get a solar system at the lowest cost and the fastest time possible. To facilitate the work of the clean energy council or CEC Australia the government offers high rebates or incentives on new solar installation which makes the cost of getting solar panels very less. The rebates help the normal customer get a solar system with a much less upfront investment.
3. Low on Pollution
The grid generates its endless supply of energy by burning the nonrenewable energy resources like fossil fuels which pollutes the environment extremely. Most of the energy generated by the grid is done using this method whilst some of it is made through hydroelectricity method.
This way the grid makes the environment very polluted for a small amount of electricity, while also depleting the precious and nonrenewable fossil fuels which can be used in various other places.
The solar panels are opposite to this as they generate ZERO pollution in their working, because they only convert the solar energy into electricity, and as the solar energy is unlimited or renewable they are also not depleting any of nature’s precious resources. And because you are using the energy generated by your solar panels, you are also having a low carbon footprint which means you are not supporting the bad use of nonrenewable energy resources which you would if you used the grid’s energy in alternative to the solar energy.
4. Makes your property more valuable
The use of solar panels has many benefits and we have discussed only a few of them till now, but the most surprising benefit of getting solar panels or a solar system for your house is that they make your property more valuable which means they increase the value of your house.
The Prime reason for this is that the solar system is a rising technology and is admired by a wide group of people. If you get a solar system installed on your house then your property will get instantly more valuable as you now do not require any external agency like the grid to power your house and your house/property is self-sufficient in itself for its power needs.
Now compare that to a house which doesn’t have a solar system installed on its rooftop, that house will have to rely on external agencies like the power grid to get power and run the appliances and electricity in the house. So the house is not in any sense self-sufficient for its power needs, which will obviously attract more money to submit for energy bills, and keeping in mind that the electricity prices are increasing day by day the amount increases with time instead of decreasing!
Hence that property will be purchased at a less price than yours which have the solar system installed and is self-sufficient for its power needs.
Disadvantages of Solar System in Brisbane
1. Requires Big Upfront Investment
There is always a flip side to a coin and all things in the world consist of some advantages and disadvantages, it is upon you if you consider those disadvantages big and unacceptable or you can cope up with them.
One such big disadvantage of getting a solar system in Brisbane is that it requires a high upfront cost investment. The solar systems were when first launched were very expensive as compared to today’s rates and getting a solar system those days made no sense as the upfront investment was so high that the system was unable to pay back the invested amount in their lifetime and hence they only end up being a liability on the owner. Also the rates of electricity were very low compared to today’s scenario hence getting a solar system didn’t make much impact on the energy bills of the owners as they have already invested such a big amount on getting the system itself.
As the time proceeded the technology advancements took place and in today’s scenario the solar system costs way too less as compared to the previous rates. Also the electricity prices have seen a steep rise hence the payback times have also decreased to a matter of years now. Hence investing the upfront cost in the solar system will be considered a wise decision in today’s times.
You can clearly see that the solar panels have much more pros than cons and hence you can analyze that solar panels are very much worth the money we put in them. As the electricity prices continue to rise, solar systems will become more and more popular in the coming future.