Australian Solar News
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Solar Photovoltaic Power Advantages
Photo by Jeremy Levine
Solar power is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world as the technology keeps on improving and the issues associated with greenhouse gas emissions and global warming are diverting attention away from fossil fuel generated power. Rainbow Power Company is well placed to give advice and consultation to set you up with solar power.
Advantages of solar power as an electrical power source:
- Non polluting: no noise, no harmful or unpleasant emissions or smells.
- Very reliable: Kyocera modules have a 25 year warranty and a considerably longer life expectancy. The theoretical lifespan of solar modules is 100 to 125 years. The first modules ever manufactured are still producing power after 50 years of service.
- No hassle: there is no need to supply any fuel, lubrication or maintenance other than making sure that the glass surface remains reasonably clean. This can easily be achieved by occasionally hosing down the solar array.
- Solar modules over their lifetime produce more power per gram of material than nuclear power but without the problem of large volumes of environmentally hazardous material.
- Solar modules produce more power within five years than the power consumed in their production.
- Photovoltaic Solar modules are a renewable energy source, a resource that cannot be used up by its use. The sun will not cease to shine due to our harnessing sunshine as an energy source.
The disadvantage of solar power is the capital cost, which is offset by very low running costs and is further dramatically reduced by any government subsidies that you may be eligible for.
Calculated over the life expectancy of solar modules, solar power becomes one of the cheapest, hassle and pollution free energy sources available. When comparing solar to nuclear energy we are aware that the allure of nuclear power is that it can produce large quantities of energy from small quantities of fuel.
It has been demonstrated that a single gram of uranium can produce 3,800 kWh of electricity - using fast breeder reactors (the most efficient nuclear technology). However, a uranium atom can only be fissioned once, whereas a silicon solar cell can absorb photons repeatedly to generate electricity. Over its lifetime a single gram of silicon as used in a 15% efficient PV silicon solar cell can produce 3,300 kWh of electricity without releasing life threatening toxic and radioactive substances. Gram for gram, silicon and uranium produce comparable amounts of electricity, and silicon is 5,000 times more abundant in the earth's crust.