Solar powered panels are the next best thing people are investing in, because it is free renewable energy that will not affect our environment. Energy prices often go up and down, and residential consumers are not always secure on this fact. Investing in solar panels might be the best thing to do especially for those that want to live off grid.
Solar energy doesn’t require any outside supply to work, so its maintenance and energy production costs are practically zero. The only cost associated with the use of solar energy is the manufacture and installation of the components. This means that despite the large initial investment, there are no additional costs associated with its use, so the installation is recovered quickly.
Losses during transport and distribution of energy increase with the distance between the production and supply points. Although these losses are not very large, they do affect the performance of the installation in densely-populated areas.
On the other hand, with the individual installation of photovoltaic panels on rooftops, the distances are drastically reduced, increasing the efficiency of the electrical system.
The easy and simplicity of the installation means that it can be installed almost anywhere, taking advantage of both vertical and horizontal spaces with no specific use. This aspect, along with the modularity and flexibility of the system, facilitates the installation of small-scale solar projects with the added advantage that the installation can be expanded depending on the needs at any given time.
But the most interesting advantage is the possibility of providing electricity in remote locations, where the cost of installing electrical distribution lines is too high or unfeasible.
The periods with the highest energy demand are concentrated in the time slots between 11:00 and 16:00 and to a lesser extent, from 20:00 to 23:00. In systems based on the constant production of energy by power plants, the price of energy increases sharply during times of peak demand. With solar energy, on the other hand, energy production reaches its maximum during the period of the day when demand is highest. In fact, in electricity markets with large-scale solar energy production, the additional supply of energy during peak times may reduce electricity prices during the mid-day time periods to levels similar to those of the night-time hours.
The production of solar energy doesn’t generate noise pollution, which is an important aspect to take into account for installations in urban areas. It also doesn’t generate any waste because it doesn’t need maintenance and its lifetime is far longer than other energy-production systems. In fact, solar panels are designed to withstand the impact of the environment in extreme weather situations.
This is an important indirect benefit that has a direct impact on the efficiency of the power grid in the case of the common problems of blackouts and voltage dips. The possibility of introducing solar power from thousands or even millions of individual energy-production centres improves the security on the power grid against overloads or fires in transformer substations.