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solor energy

By 1965melissa Oct 13, 2014 1626 Words


Science and Humanity SCI 101
Dr. Demoulin
Bethel University
July 8, 2014

The Disadvantages and Advantages of Solar Energy 1 The Disadvantage of Solar Energy
Solar energy can be used in different ways during the construction of houses in order to conserve energy. Solar energy comes as a gift of nature and this makes it even more economical to use in our homes. It is not only free but unlike other sources of energy; it also limits the amount of pollution caused to the environment. When building our houses the goal according to David Johnston and Scott Gibson is to create a house that consumes at least fifty-two percent less energy than one built conventionally with a corresponding reduction in the heating and the cooling cost.(Johnston, Gibson 252)This can be done through use of solar panels, solar water systems and photovoltaic. The above all rely on one source: solar energy which comes as a gift of nature.

Solar energy can be used to determine different things about our housing,” Solar energy figures out where our houses are to be located, the orientation towards the southern sun, where different rooms are and the size and placement of window overhangs.”(Johnston, Gibson 250)This small factors can determine how heated up our houses are or how easy it will be to cool our houses. It can also determine the amount of lighting that reaches our houses. “Sizing south glass to capture as much sunlight as possible. Blocking summer sunlight with roof overhangs, shades and trees or vegetation. Choosing building materials for their mass and their potential to store solar heat in winter and to keep houses cooler in the summer.......” (Johnston, Gibson 252)

Solar water systems can be used to reduce the amount of energy used in the production of electricity in our homes. It is commonly used in countries like Australia, Japan and China. They are usually made in such a way that they deliver optimum amounts of water throughout the year despite variations in climatic condition. These different factors might therefore determine the types of systems used. In the case of cold climatic conditions there might not be enough sunlight to provide a source of heat and in this case a person may consider using an electric pump for heating. “The amount of electricity required is however minimal.”(Johnston, Gibson 250)

The Disadvantages and Advantages of Solar Energy 2 The Disadvantage of Solar Energy
There are different types of solar water systems, passive and active solar water systems. Their variations come from the mechanisms that they use to pump water in the circulation. A passive heater usually has a tank that plays the role of both the storage and the solar collector. They are usually more efficient and less costly to construct. “Active solar hot water systems employ a pump to circulate water between the collector and the storage tank. However passive hot water systems require back up heat for cloudy days. (Johnston, Gibson 254) “The active systems generally have higher efficiencies, their values being thirty-five to eighty percent higher than those of the passive systems.” (Ogueke 1) The two type of systems require storage tanks for their water, which is sometimes in a preheat tank for a conventional water heater. “The convectional water heater is called a two-way tank system.” (Johnston, Gibson 255)

The passive solar water systems transfer heat by natural circulation using different temperatures and this enables them not to depend on pumps. They are more commonly used in our homes due to their cheap installation. The passive systems can be of two types open or closed operation systems. The open systems usually transfer water from one point to another through the solar collector. However, in a closed loop system it relies on a transfer fluid. The fluid usually carries the solar energy absorbed from the collectors to the storage tanks that contain water.

Solar water systems have a storage tank that is mounted horizontally on the solar collectors which are usually at the top of the roof for maximum sunlight penetration. The water when heated by sun radiations rise up through convection current. However when a pump is used to circulate the water, the water storage tanks is usually placed above the solar collectors because there is an artificial way of circulating the water. Freezing can sometimes occur in regions of low temperatures and therefore there are measures which are to be taken to protect the system. The systems usually drain the transfer fluid if the pump stops to prevent attaining a level of freezing. In other systems antifreeze is used to

The Disadvantages and Advantages of Solar Energy 3 The Disadvantage of Solar Energy
prevent reaching freezing point. Freezing is not the only natural drawback that can affect the system; the summer heat can also be considered a problem. Excessive heat may cause the pumps to bust as the water and gases expand. In this case relief valves are usually used to release any excessive pressure build up. The pumps are also built with curved pipes to help in the circulation. Solar collectors are used to collect and concentrate solar energy that is transferred directly on water to be used at home or into a heat transfer fluid to be used as electricity. They are of different types: flat panels are more common in our homes, integrated solar systems and evacuated tube collectors are mostly found on commercial buildings.

Solar collectors are created and placed in order to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. “A solar collector is required to absorb solar radiation and transfer the absorbed energy into a heat transfer fluid with a minimum heat loss.”(Ulgen 1172) One of the factors that can be considered is the angle of the solar collector towards the sun. “For maximum annual energy availability, the slope of the collector should be equal o the angle of latitude for low latitude countries.” (Bari 2000)The panels can also be placed facing the southern sun. If the panels are placed at an angle there are more chances that the sun will heat the collectors, however, if the collectors are flat the sun stays overhead at only a short duration of time and the amount of radiation received will be minimal.

Photovoltaic’s can be used to convert sunlight energy into electricity into our homes. They use solar panels which have solar cells. The cost of installing and maintain them is high but has gradually decreased as the years passed by. Photovoltaic’s are been used in our houses, transportation, in standalone and for even rural electrification. For example most of our calculators are solar rechargeable, the small panel found on top is an example of photovoltaic. They not only increase the duration of the other battery cells last but also save on money per year. One advantage of photovoltaic cells is that they can run for years without any maintenance, on top of which they are also pollution free. Their only disadvantages are that they are usually

The Disadvantages and Advantages of Solar Energy 4 The Disadvantage of Solar Energy
expensive to install and there is not production of electricity during the night and clouded days because of lack of sunlight.
The cost of installation of solar energy devices may sometimes appear to be exaggerated or too expensive. “The range of installation varies from 2000 to 8000 depending on climate and the water needs” (Johnston, Gibson 254). There are different aspects that determine how much will come out of one’s pocket. This includes your location, how your roof is oriented, the angle of your solar collector, number of solar collectors you are planning to use, the amount of insulation and not forgetting the hot water use. The maintenance cost may vary depending on your location and the type of maintenance you are applying to your system. In high latitude areas, the design may be more complex in order to combat cold weather, and in the forerun the costs end up being higher. The individual might require using antifreeze liquids for the systems. For those people in the temperate regions the cost may be lower because they do not require a lot of insulation.

However, the high cost of installation may be considered worthwhile as the electric bill continues to decrease through the years. There are also tax returns and rebates to be put into consideration. Solar systems have become common in this century. There are however drawbacks in their installation. There is lack of proper information on their installation and lack of enough energy policies on the side of the government especially in the developing countries. The governments in some countries are trying to control this problem by giving rebates and tax returns to people who install energy conserving equipment. The cost of their installations may sometimes prove to be a major drawback. However, the actual benefit is realized as the years pass by because the electric bills will decrease significantly.

The Disadvantages and Advantages of Solar Energy 5 The Disadvantage and Advantages of Solar Energy
In conclusion, solar energy is being used in production of electricity in our homes. It is also being used in different ways to try to minimize any energy use. There are both the advantages and drawbacks of using this source of energy but the pros usually out do the cons. Solar energy should be viewed as one of the sources of energy that we can rely on the future because unlike other sources, it will never be depleted the only thing we have to do is to apply it.

Reference Easton, T.A2014.Takin Sides: Clashing Views in Science, Technology, and Science 11 ed McGraw Hill Education

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