Humanity has always needed energy for doing work, and for much of history, this energy came from both human and animal labor in the pre-industrial age. But the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s brought about a spike in production, new technology, and all the energy needed to power it. This often included steam power, when hot, pressurized steam drove turbines that in turn would generate power for machines and vehicles alike. Late in the 1800s, electricity joined steam power and allowed for many more innovations, and the 20th century saw nuclear power emerge as well. Now, in the 21st century, fossil fuel-powered power plants are still in use, burning coal to create steam that rotates turbines. However, these power plants are facing heavy criticism for their constant pollution, and these emissions harm the air and water alike. Newer and clean energy alternatives have been devised, such as solar energy. Solar companies are known to install solar panels everywhere necessary, such as residential solar panel installation, commercial solar panel installation, and more. On a small scale, residential solar panel installation can be quite helpful for a homeowner. And what about larger arrays?
Why Solar is Used
One of the main drives to use solar power is simply that solar panels never pollute, or create any byproducts at all. Rather, sunlight will strike these panels and excite the electrons inside them, generating power. This compares favorably to fossil fuel plants, which release harmful emissions into the air. This takes great strides toward improving air quality and slowing down the effects of climate change, as carbon dioxide is well known for trapping the sun’s heat on the Earth. Solar panels, along with hydroelectric dams and wind turbines, have emerged as pollution-free ways to provide any amount of power needed. These solar panels are attractive since they can be installed on a large or small scale as needed, and they are best used in areas that get very little cloud cover. Better yet, these panels are more price-friendly to install and work-efficient than ever, making them economically competitive for the first time.
Finally, there’s the simple advantage of the energy quantity. The sun produces power on a truly astronomical scale, and more solar energy flows across the Earth than is used in all of industrial civilization. The sun is estimated to shine for anther five billion years, and that, combined with its scale, means that solar energy is effectively infinite and cannot be exhausted as a resource. Natural gas pockets or coal seams or oil patches may be died up or mined out, but not the sun. The only limitation is how many solar panels are installed to capture that energy.
Solar Panels on Any Scale
As mentioned earlier, solar panels are flexible since they can be set up in massive arrays or on a smaller scale instead, such as with residential solar panel installation. A homeowner interested in residential solar panel installation can look up and hire local solar panel companies to install these panels and their support brackets, not to mention the wiring needed to connect everything. Inspection agents will look over the home and its energy meter during and after solar panel installation to ensure that everything is ready, and then the house will be cut off from the public energy grid and start using its private solar panels instead. Many American homeowners are opting to do this, especially those who live in sunny states such as Texas and California.
Solar panels can also be installed on a truly large scale, and huge arrays of hundreds or even thousands of them can be built to collect power on an industrial scale. These arrays are not found on roofs; they are out in the wilderness where there’s room for them, and these arrays feed power to entire neighborhoods or city blocks at a time. Sunny states with a lot of open space such as California and Texas are doing this, and developing regions such as many African nations are doing this, too. Many African communities are getting running electricity for the first time, and they get it not from fossil fuel plants, but from solar panels. This helps preserve the environment, since a fossil fuel plant was never built to begin with.