Solar Panels and Their Advantages

Abstract

This paper presents the outcome of the research that was conducted with the view of establishing a recommendation report for a company or a building owner to install solar panels. The paper examines the benefits of solar energy over other forms of energy. This paper discusses the methodology that was applied and methods that were used to gather information from respondents.

Both primary and secondary research findings are discussed in detail, relative to the issue of the installation of solar panels. The literature summary reviewed tactics and solutions that were deemed to be the most relevant to the situation of the target organization. The report also contains a well-supported recommendation on why a building owner or a homeowner should install solar panels.

Executive Summary

The global trends are eco-sensitive and we should join hands to fight greenhouse gases by installing solar panels. The foregoing recommendations have been designed to offer you a better understanding, better information, and an overall better experience of installing solar panels.

There are many different advantages of the use of solar panels, both at large-scale and small-scale. Using solar panels will enable you to produce solar power for your home through the increasing and easier means of natural energy. Unlike other sources of energy, solar does not pollute the environment and, therefore, remains friendly to the environment. However, the production of the solar power cells and the transportation of solar panels to the homes for installation are is attributed to some form of pollution, though indirect.

The main disadvantage of solar energy is the initial cost, a factor that is associated with solar technology. It has also been established that companies should reduce their environmental footprints, through efforts that reduce the emission of pollutants by adopting the use of solar panels. Companies should ensure that they take advantage of the existing incentives and grants from the government by installing solar energy.

This report summarizes recently published literature on solar panels installations and its benefits to the homeowners. The market trend literature with respect to solar installation addresses data-gathering tactics to be used in determining the benefits of solar panels. This report recommends that homeowners should install solar panels based on the findings of the research. Solar panels installation has the following advantages, over other forms of energy.

  • It cheap
  • It does not pollute the environment
  • It is freely harnessed
  • It is reliable
  • Readily available
  • Does not require maintenance

It is, therefore, important for a homeowner or a company to install solar panels and start reaping the benefits. It has also been established that companies should reduce their environmental footprints through efforts that reduce the emission of pollutants by adopting the use of solar panels. Companies should ensure that they take advantage of the existing incentives and grants from the government by installing solar energy. Homeowners should exploit alternative energy resources and expand the use of solar panel technology to reduce energy costs and protect the environment. Finally, homeowners must review the potential panel size and location options that are accessible to them to ensure that effective installation takes place.

Introduction

Electricity is a major expenditure in domestic homes due to over-reliance on traditional sources of energy. However, solar energy is one form of energy that provides a solution to such problems in most homes and buildings. This report recommends the installation of solar panels to both homeowners and building owners. In the recent past, the economy and the environment had shown the need to find alternative forms of energy that are less damaging. The demand for solar generating installation, therefore, has increased.

Solar panels, also known as Photovoltaic devices are usually installed on the rooftops of the building to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. The rays of the sun cause a molecular reaction on the semiconductor materials that are used to make the solar panels. The reaction creates electricity, which is collected from the cells of the panel as a direct current. The direct current is thereafter converted to standard alternating current by inverters.

A solar panel system has multiple components, including solar panels, inverters, data collectors, batteries, and other general electrical supplies. These components make the installation of solar energy expended with the solar panel being the most expensive component. The estimated duration of the service of a solar panel is between 40 and 50 years. The output of the solar panel is multi-purpose.

Electricity usage in the United State has increased by 24 percent and the levels of emissions produced from electricity have increased by 22 percent because a large percentage of electricity is generated from coal, hydro, nuclear oil, and gas. It is worth noting that all these sources, in the exemption of hydro, are not eco-friendly. This accounts for the high emission of greenhouse emissions.

The Installation of Solar Panels Has Several Benefits

There is an immediate saving in the electricity cost, as well as a reduction in carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and sulfur dioxide emissions, which means that solar energy is eco-friendly. The installation cost is cheaper due to many government incentives for energy-efficient technologies, including incentives and grants that help offset the installation cost. On average, a person spends a relatively low amount of government subsidy, without which the installation of the solar panel is not cost effective.

The view of tapping pollution-free power from the rays of the sun is a great idea, but up-to-date, the cheap cost of oil combined with the lofty costs of developing the latest technology has highly prevented the extensive implementation of solar power. For solar photovoltaic panels to develop into an actual solution to the energy requirement problem, it has to be cost-efficient. For governments, this return on investment comes in the structure of job making, helpful environmental impact, and decline in fossil fuel reliance.

Research Methodology

Scholarly databases were investigated, to gather important information related to the installation of solar panels. Besides, we interviewed local home and building owners with the view of establishing the effects of installing solar panels on their premises. We examined the implementation cost of solar panels, electricity bills, and other solar specifications. We selected five community areas that use solar energy, and the results were as shown below.

Survey results

Survey Tabulations

  • 1. Gender: Total Male 20 Total Female 18
    • Age: Under 18 0 (0%)
    • 19-29 10/38 (26%)
    • 30-39 4/38 (11%)
    • 40-49 19/38 (50%)
    • 50 and above 5/38 (13%)
  • 2. Have you ever used solar panels?
    • 0-3 7/38 (18%)
    • 4-7 20/38 (53%)
    • Whether interested 6/38 (16%)
    • Never interested 5/38 (13%)
  • 3. Having used solar panels, what are the benefits more in comparison to other sources of energy?
    • Solar in comparison with electricity 16/38 (42%)
    • Solar in comparison with oil18/38 (47%)
    • Solar in comparison with coal 5/38 (13%)
  • 4. Are you willing to start using solar panels within your home/ company?
    • Yes 30/38 (79%)
    • No 7/38 (18%)
    • No Response 1/38 (4%)
  • 5. Did you know that the cost of solar panel installation is low due to government subsidies and grants?
    • Yes 17/38 (45%)
    • No 20/38 (53%)
    • No Response 1/38 (4%)
  • 6. On average how much does your home or company spends on monthly electricity bills?
    • Zero – $50 10/38 (0%)
    • $51-$100 20/38 (10%)
    • $101-$150 8/38 (21%)
    • $151-$200 0/38 (50%)
    • $201 and above0/38 (16%)
  • 7. If zero, why not? (Out of 14 responses)
    • Use of Solar energy 10/14 (70%)
    • Do not use solar electricity 2/14 (14%)
    • Other:
    • Wanted to install solar panels 3/14 (21%)
    • Cannot afford installing solar panels 1/14 (7%)
    • Installation cost 5/14 (36%)
  • 8. What could be done to encourage you to install solar panels? (Out of 27 responses)
    • Economic reasons 6/27 (22%)
    • Convenience 4/27 (15%)
    • Environmental Reasons 6/27 (22%)
    • Accessibility 4/27 (15%)
    • Natural availability 3/27 (11%)
    • Does not require to be maintained 4/27 (15%)

Secondary method: Review of the Literature

There are many advantages to the use of solar panels, both at large-scale and small-scale. Using solar panels enable you to produce solar power for your home through the increasing and easier means of natural energy (Smith, 2011). Unlike other sources of energy, solar does not pollute the environment and, therefore, remains friendly to the environment. However, the production of the solar power cell and their transportation of the solar panels to the homes for installation are attributed to some form of pollution through indirect. The main disadvantage of solar energy is the initial cost, a factor that is associated with solar technology (Boxwell, 2012).

Solar energy is sourced from the sun, making it a renewable source, unlike other sources that are used to generate electricity. Due to its flexibility, solar energy is known to harness the power in remote locations (Smith, 2011). This provides a critical advantage of solar energy to bring electricity to some of the most remote places in the country. The technological advances enable the storage of solar electricity that is harnessed through solar power battery chargers (Chiras, 2009).

Research shows that the clouds have a certain disadvantage on older solar components; new designs of solar panels do have integrated technologies that help overcome such effects. Solar energy is much useful during the sunshine. At night, the solar panel does not generate energy. However, a battery charger stores solar energy. One must consider the location of a solar panel. This is because the location of a solar panel affects its performance, owing to the possibility of obstruction from the surroundings (Boxwell, 2012).

Using the energy generated from solar is an achievement as it has good incentives (Chiras, 2009). Unlike other sources of energy, solar generation does not require to be maintained because solar panels do not have mobile parts; therefore, it does not require maintenance.

The effect of solar energy is far-reaching, although solar is a relatively new source of energy. Solar is a more harmonious energy source unlike other sources of energy that require harvesting of fossil fuels, animal matter, or plant matter. The solar energy is continuous, whether utilized or not. Solar panels also attract investment due to the value they add to homes (Smith, 2011). A home with fixed electricity bills generated from solar is less expensive and, therefore, appealing to buyers. The solar panels and products are easy to install (Chiras, 2009).

Most of the energy sources are known for contributing to global warming due to the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, which warms the atmosphere. However, solar energy does not emit these gases, making it a non-pollutant source of energy. After the installation cost has been recovered, solar energy becomes practically free (Chiras, 2009). The recovery period of the investment price is usually short, depending on the consumption of the electricity by a company.

Usually, there are financial incentives from the government that reduces the cost of installation. Production of energy may cause surplus overconsumption. In such cases, they can sell it out to utility companies, thus building up credits on their account (Smith, 2011). Solar energy, therefore, can be used to offset utility-supplied energy consumption, which means that it does not only reduce the electricity bills but continues to supply the company with reliable electricity.

Results

Primary Research Findings

Among the 38 respondents that were interviewed, 18 were females. Most of them were in their 40s, followed by those who were from 19 years to 29 years. Total respondents ranged from 19 years to 50 years and above. Most of the population was surveyed on the use of solar energy or other forms of energy, which included electricity. Figure 1 on the appendices section reveals that 20 respondents out of the total of those who were interviewed knew about solar power energy. Seven respondents were aware of the benefits of using solar panels, six of the respondents reported to have been using solar energy, and 5 of the respondents showed interest in solar panel installation.

Figure 1

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Number of building owners using solar panels

Figure two demonstrates the amount of money that was spent in dollars to pay for the electricity bills over a certain period. Most of the respondents were in the category that had the high utility bills. This was attributed to the high consumption of electricity, which attracted high charges. The cost of the electricity bills was compared over one month.

Ten people stated they did not get any utility bills for power consumption. This was attributed to the use of solar panels between these categories of respondents. Ten percent of the respondents indicated that they spent between 51 dollars and 100 dollars. Twenty percent of the respondent revealed that they spent between 101 dollars and 150 dollars while 50 percent of them showed that they spent between 151 dollars and 200 dollars. Sixteen percent spent more than 200 dollars. It is worth noting that the number of respondents was low because they used solar panels, which did not attract any bills.

The amount of money spent on electricity bills in a month
Figure 2. The amount of money spent on electricity bills in a month

Figure 2 is an illustration of the amount of money spent on electricity bills in a month.

Based on the survey findings, homeowners and building owners need more information on the use and installation of solar panels. Close to 50% of the respondents did not know that there existed government grants for the use of solar panels. The respondents, when asked whether they had ever used solar panels; 18 percent showed that they had, while 53 percent showed that they had never. Of those who showed that they had never used solar panels, 46 percent showed that they were interested while 13 percent showed that they were not interested in installing solar panels.

Those who used solar panel expressed that they had used them due to the benefits that are associated with solar energy as opposed to other forms of energy. Forty-two percent of the respondents expressed that they had used solar panel because it was cheaper compared with electricity. Forty-seven percent of the respondents indicated that they used solar panels because they were cheaper compared with oil. The other percentage of the respondents indicated that they preferred to use solar over coal, which was much expensive and eco-friendly.

Those respondents who indicated that they were not using solar panels were asked whether they were willing to install solar panels within their homes or buildings. 79 percent indicated that they were willing to install solar panels in their homes. 18 percent of these respondents indicated that they would not install solar, while 4 percent of the respondents indicated that they were not certain whether they would adopt solar panels as their primary source of energy.

We sought to find out why the respondents were not willing or they were reluctant to start using solar panels and they stated that they did not use them because the cost of installation was relatively high. We also sought to establish whether the respondents were aware of the existence of government subsidies. Forty-five percent indicated that they were aware of the grants issued by the government to reduce the cost of installing solar panels. Fifty-three percent of the respondents indicated that they were not aware of the grants and subsidies issued by the government, while 4 percent of the respondents failed to respond to the questions.

Relative to the issue of utility cost, we sought to examine whether the consumers of energy were concerned about the long-term effects. This was informed by the fact that most of the respondents believed that the installation cost of solar panels was high. It was clear that most of the respondents did not consider the long-term cost of electricity. Solar panels have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years, a period when one does not spend any other money besides the installation fee.

We, therefore, sought to find out how much they spend every month. Ten percent of these respondents showed that they spent between 51 dollars and 100 dollars. Twenty-one percent revealed that they spent between 101 dollars and 150 dollars, while 50 percent of them showed that they spent between 151 dollars and 200 dollars. Sixteen percent spent more than 200 dollars. It is worth noting that the number of respondents was low because they used solar panels which did not attract any bills.

We sought to ascertain why some consumers (out of the 14 respondents) did not pay any charges on electricity bills. Ten of the respondents showed that they used solar energy, which did not attract any bills. Two of them showed that they used other forms of energy besides electricity and solar. Although several respondents showed that they wanted to install solar panels. However, they showed that the installation cost was high. While a number cited the installation cost as being high, thus hindering the installation of solar panels. Some of the respondents showed that they would install the solar panel after more government subsidies were granted.

We also sought to find out what would encourage the respondents to install solar panels in their homes. The respondents showed that there was a need to install a solar panel because they were economical as compared to other forms. They also cited convenience as a reason. Some of the respondents showed that they would use solar energy because it is environmentally friendly. It was also showed that solar energy was naturally available, thus making it a preference for many. Some of the respondents also indicated that solar energy, unlike other forms of energy did not require any form of maintenance.

Secondary Research Findings

This part reviews the lately published literature on solar panel installations and its benefits to the homeowners. The literature on market trends in solar installation addresses data-gathering tactics to be used in determining the benefits of solar panels. The literature revealed that most buildings owners were not comfortable with the high electricity charges they were experiencing. The advantages of solar panels are many, and they are not only beneficial to the building owners, but also the community. The examination of the question of why people use solar panels revealed that this was informed by the individual understanding of the benefits of using solar energy as opposed to other sources. Between those identified to be using solar energy, they pointed out some of the following benefits.

  • Economical
  • Convenience
  • Environmental friendly

It was also found that the owners of buildings were encouraged to become aware of the solar panels installation benefits. This would encourage them to install solar panels. Most people avoid the installation of solar energy owing to the notion that the installation costs are usually high. However, the existence of government-subsidized and grants have substantially brought down the installation cost.

Conclusion

There are many different advantages of the use of solar panels, both at large-scale and small-scale. Using solar panels will enable you to produce solar power for your home through the increasing and easier means of natural energy. Unlike other sources of energy, solar does not pollute the environment and, therefore, remains friendly to the environment. However, the production of the solar power cells and the transportation of solar panels to the homes for installation are is attributed to some form of pollution, though indirect. The main disadvantage of solar energy is the initial cost, a factor that is associated with solar technology.

The literature reveals that the advantages are more than the disadvantages. It is, therefore, important for a homeowner or company to install a solar panel and start reaping the benefits. It has also been established that companies should reduce their environmental footprints, through efforts that reduce the emission of pollutants by adopting the use of solar panels. Companies should ensure that they take advantage of the existing incentives and grants from the government by installing solar energy. Homeowners should exploit alternative energy resources and expand the use of solar panel technology to reduce energy costs and protect the environment.

Finally, homeowners must review the potential panel size and location options that are accessible to them to ensure that effective installation takes place. Usually, there are financial incentives from the government that reduces the cost of installation. Production of energy may cause surplus overconsumption. In such cases, they can sell it out to utility companies, thus building up credits on their account (Smith, 2011). Solar energy, therefore, can be used to offset utility-supplied energy consumption, which means that it does not only reduce the electricity bills but continues to supply the company with reliable electricity.

It is, therefore, important for a homeowner or company to install a solar panel and start reaping the benefits. It has also been established that companies should reduce their environmental footprints through efforts that reduce the emission of pollutants by adopting the use of solar panels. Homeowners should exploit alternative energy resources and expand the use of solar panel technology to reduce energy costs and protect the environment. Homeowners must review the potential panel size and location options that are accessible to them, to ensure that effective installation takes place.

Recommendations

While this survey served to establish the installation of solar panels, the depth of the research revealed that there is a need to encourage members of the society to use solar panels. The survey revealed that the target audience was informed of the benefits of solar panels. These benefits were cited to include; economic reasons, convenience, non-pollution, reliability, among others. This is because most of the respondents believed that the cost of installation was very high, but did not seem to realize the long-term effects of using the solar panels. There is, therefore, a need to create awareness on the existence of government subsidy and grants in the installation of solar panels, which make the installation cost to reduce drastically.

Although the short-term cost of electricity was low in comparison with the installation cost of solar panels. The long-term effect was that electricity was much expensive while solar energy was very cheap because there were no monthly expenses and it did not require to be maintained. This is attributed to the fact that solar energy is harnessed from the sun freely, and a solar panel has a lifespan of 40 to 50 years. We, therefore, suggest that you should install a Solar panel because it has the following advantages over other forms of energy.

  • It cheap;
  • Does not pollute the environment;
  • It is freely harnessed;
  • It is reliable;
  • Readily available;
  • Does not require maintenance.

There is also a need to conduct civic education on the use of solar panels. When selecting the form of energy to use, you should consider the long-term effects. The cost of installing a solar panel is relatively low due to government subsidy and grants. This report suggests the benefits that a company or the building owner should gain by installing solar panels. We hope that this report will help you in deciding whether to install solar panels in your company or building.

References

Boxwell, M. (2012). A simple practical guide to solar energy: Designing and installing Photovoltaic Solar electric Systems. New York, NY: Associated Press.

Chiras, D. (2009). Power from the sun: A practical guide to solar electricity. New York, NY: Associated Press.

Smith, E. (2011). DIY solar projects: How to put the sun to work in your Home. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.