Essential Solar Facts
Lots of people are implementing solar energy as a mainstay of their energy source, and technology is dropping at price and becoming much more relevant in the search for alternative, sustainable energy. If you’re considering taking the plunge and joining the thickening ranks of those collecting energy from the sun it will be exceedingly useful to know some of these solar facts.
One of the solar facts that is quite known to many is the source of solar energy which is, of course, the sun. Light takes less than 10 minutes to travel from the great nuclear furnace of the sun to the surface of the earth.
Here’s some literal solar facts:
- 174 Petawatts of solar radiation strikes the atmosphere every single day.
- 0.01% of the energy produced by nuclear fission in the sun every second is enough to meet the energy requirements for the entire earth’s population.
- The sun is in the top 5% of stars in the Milky Way for size and brightness.
- The sun is the main source of energy for all life forms on earth.
Solar Energy Use
The range of applications for solar is quite wide, expanding well beyond the basic solar panel arrays often pictured. Solar energy is one of the fastest growing new sources of electricity, and as technology advances and productions costs decrease, it is increasing in efficiency at a rapid pace. Some statistics on the use of solar facts include:
- There were 140,000 new solar installations in the U.S. in the year 2013.
- All the solar power operating in the US is sufficient to power 2.2 million American homes.
- The state of California is the leading state in the use of solar energy.
- Solar is the second largest source of new electricity, behind natural gas.
For some fascinating solar energy facts check these out:
- Powering Space Missions since 1958.
- Temporary establishments such as mining sites, fairs, or even the Olympics.
- In 700 B.C. glass lenses were used to start a fire by concentrating the suns rays.
The Cost of Solar
The price of solar energy systems is decreasing as production technology advances and reduces the associated cost. In some sense, solar energy is free, as sunlight is available to all. But initially, you would have to shell out some amount to get your unit installed and running. Let’s give you some ballpark solar facts on the cost of a system, which may help you as you consider entering the arena of solar energy.
- A typical home installation costs between $19,000 and $40,000
- Depending on the solar panel type, solar panels cost about 1/3 of the overall price.
- It pays to hire professionals for installation of a system, which will run you about $3,000.
- Permits and fees may rack up the price by another $3,000 so be sure to factor that into your considerations.
It is also advisable to be prepared for the inevitable costs of maintenance and repair, so consider that as you prepare for a new solar energy system.
This is a basic starter kit of solar facts. The world of solar is vast and often complex. I hope this article has given you the essential understanding and information about solar panels as well as the necessary solar power facts that will help you when you venture further into this exciting, growing technology.