(1) Solar is clean. Once up and running, a solar energy system is a zero-emissions source of power. No carbon-dioxide. No sulfur dioxide. No arsenic. No air-borne particulates… Essentially none of the environmental and health hazards associated with coal-fired power plants.
(2) Coal is old energy. Think about it: when you combust coal, you’re essentially burning dead plant material that was buried millions of years ago. Plus, coal has been mined for use as a fuel as far back as 10,000 years ago in China. Talk about yesterday’s energy…
A solar PV panel, by contrast, generates electricity using new energy from the sun. Literally: it takes about 11 minutes from when the sunlight leaves the sun, hits your solar panels and gets converted into juice to power your flatscreen TV.
(3) Coal is a finite resource. I’m not going to lie: we here in the U.S. are blessed (maybe cursed?) with vast coal reserves; we’ve got a hundred years or more worth of the stuff. But if I were going to put my money on which will happen first — we run out of coal or the sun burns out — I’d be all in on the former.
(4) Cost-wise, solar is closing in on coal. New analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that, as the cost of generating electricity from the sun continues to fall, solar power may soon rival coal-fired plants.
(5) Solar panels generate electricity at a fixed price. Since the “fuel” that powers solar panels comes from the sun, you don’t have to pay for it. As a result, the price of the resulting electricity won’t fluctuate over time. (Indeed, this is one of the great benefits of owning a solar energy system: as the price of conventional electricity increases over time, the impact of these hikes on your monthly energy costs is minimized.)
In contrast, operators of coal-fueled plants have to take into consideration price fluctuations of their main input, coal.
List your own reasons why Clean Solar Energy beats the burning the Dirty Fossil Fuels in the comment section below. Scotty Article was cross posted
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List you own areas that Clean Renewable Energy via Solar Photovoltaic, CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) is better than Fossil Fuels Dirty Energy From Dirty Coal
With Enphase micro-inverters built right into each panels. Westinghouse delivers decades of powerful performance. Unlike ordinary solar panels where their power production varies from hour to hour, each Westinghouse Solar panel consistently operates at its maximum power potential. Additionally, these revolutionary panels continue to operate at maximum power even if one panel goes down compared to ordinary panels where the malfunction of one panel from shading or other failures takes down all of the panels. As a result, these revolutionary panels can perform 5% to 25% higher than ordinary panels.
No ugly external racks or dangling wires
No gaps between panels for a contiguous, smooth appearance
Westinghouse Solar Panels are beautiful, low profile, all black panels look like skylights
Only these Skylights Make $money$.
Westinghouse is recognized across the industry for its revolutionary design delivering the first major improvement to solar power in over thirty years.
Industry Recognized – Award Winning: Westinghouse is an Integrated Solar Power System
No single point of system failure
Built-in electrical and ground connectors cannot loosen or be installed incorrectly
No dangerous 600 volt DC wiring
Shorter wire lengths are less likely to fail by pinching or abrading
70% fewer roof-assembled parts means a longer lasting system
25% fewer roof attachment points means greater roof integrity
Grounding process cannot skip panels, connectors will not wear or corrode
|Scotts Contracting-St Louis Renewable Energy|
In determining which system is the right choice for your roof Solar Thermal or Solar Electric. Would you like to Generate Electricity or Heat Water for your Building? Scotts Contracting is available to assist in the Design and Construction for your Renewable Energy System. Click here to email Scotts Contracting to schedule your Free Green Site Evaluation.
Solar Energy Fights for Roof Space
An increasing problem in today's crowded buildings is finding the best position to fit solar collectors. The two main forms of collectors found on roofs are for water heating (solar thermal) and photovoltaic (solar electricity). If space is short, how can you decide which of these two technologies gets priority?
The "fight" for roof space grows more significant every year, not only as equipment becomes more affordable and hence larger but also because optimum locations are occupied first by other equipment. These include roof skylights, flues, extract ducts, air conditioning and aerials. Such equipment not only reduces the available roof area but can also cast shadows that reduce the performance of solar equipment. Shading has a particularly strong effect on solar collectors, with even small shadows causing significant losses on photovoltaic modules.
Shading can occur from other roof objects or nearby buildings, trees or hills. These are particularly prominent when the sun is low in the sky, such as morning and evening or during winter. In order to correctly position solar collectors, consideration must be given to the daily sun-path between sunrise and sunset. This sun-path also alters seasonally according to the latitude of the location. There are also local climatic conditions to consider, where perhaps morning mists or afternoon thunderstorms occur.
It is worth noting that particular collector types react differently to the sun's constantly changing position. In some cases, automatic tracking devices are used to improve performance by altering the collectors to always face in the optimum direction. This affects what is known as the 'angle of incidence' of the beam solar radiation on to the collector. Solar radiation in fact falls on to collectors by one of three routes: 'beam' radiation in a straight line from the sun; 'diffuse' from all points in the atmosphere; and a proportion that is reflected from other surfaces (called the 'albedo'). During a typical day, not only does the total radiation change but so does the proportion of these three types. Some collectors use mirrors and tubular absorbers to improve the performance of a collector through a longer arc of the sun's path.
Professional solar engineers now use computer simulation software, such as T*SOL for solar thermal or PV*SOL for solar photovoltaic, to work out the best use of a given roof area. This allows rapid calculation of the total annual energy output from each hour of the year, as well as easy comparisons of all options. Good quality programs allow for comparison between different brands of equipment and user load profiles.
Separate programs are used for solar water heating and photovoltaics because they are two fundamentally different technologies. For example, the conversion efficiency of solar radiation to thermal occurs at a much higher rate than conversion to electricity. Also, heat is usually stored in water whereas electricity is either sold straight to the utility grid or stored in batteries. It is important not to underestimate the effect of changing loads on domestic hot water heating or the existence of a surplus feed-in tariff for electricity. The user may indicate a desire to alter their patterns of use to optimise solar contribution; however, it is unlikely that this will be retained through staff or ownership changes. Professional simulation software can visualise each of these situations and present a clear interpretation to clients.
While we can never fully anticipate conditions for a given day or week ahead, we can be increasingly confident of long-term monthly and annual results. Even if there is an acceptable margin of error in calculating future values, comparisons of equipment configurations and user load profiles are still accurate provided the same climate data set is used in the simulation. It is always best to reveal any assumptions for scrutiny and to use certified collector values when performing computer simulations for clients.
Where a roof becomes crowded, the more efficient solar products are likely to be prioritised in order to give the smallest footprint. Computer simulations will anticipate the best overall total energy production to displace conventional energy sources. An on-site tool, such as a solar site selector, is used to anticipate shading as an ideal accompaniment for computer simulations. These allow for real-time analysis of any site using a template and viewfinder, the results of which can then be recorded digitally. Generally speaking, if both solar water heating and photovoltaic collectors are being used, the priority goes to the latter if this permits avoiding shading.
Chris Laughton is Managing Director of The Solar Design Company. He is an experienced heating engineer, author and lecturer, and a regular columnist in magazines, journals and on-line media. His latest book Solar Domestic Water Heating: The Earthscan Expert Handbook for Planning, Design and Installation was published by Earthscan last month.
The information and views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on its Web site and other publications.-- Scott's Contracting firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com email@example.com
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