Surrounded by Energy: An Earth Blog
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Surrounded by Energy: An Earth Blog

You might remember learning the definition of "environment" in science class as a kid. Put simply, the environment is everything that surrounds you. It is the plants, animals, soil, water, and sky that make up this vast planet. One way that humans utilize the environment is to harness some of its resources to generate energy. In using this coal, water, or wind from the environment, they are able to generate electricity to power lights, heaters, and even microwaves. Learn more about how humans use the earth to generate power on this website. We've compiled these articles after a lot of research, and we think you'll find them helpful.


Surrounded by Energy: An Earth Blog

Thinking About Going Solar?

Jeffery Carlson

A lot of people are, have, and will have some or all of their homes converted to solar energy. Whether you want the reassurance of staying on the grid, the independence of going completely off-grid, or if you're somewhere in between, there are solar power systems designed with you in mind. Some people like installing solar cells on their homes, while some have enough acreage to have a larger solar farm. The constraints are often local regulations and how much space you have, as well as how much energy you plan on using.

There are some things worth researching before you begin planning. The first of which is that you need to know where you get the best sunlight on your property. Sometimes houses are shaded by trees, and that's actually not the best place to put your solar cells. Even if it's just for part of a day, it can cut into how much power you get from them. 

You also need to learn some about the energy efficiency of the solar cells available on the market. Efficiency, when referring to solar cells (or most energy production) means the amount of power that is produced versus the amount of power that was fed into it. Solar cells on the market tend to run at 15%-20% efficiency, though there are panels on the market that manage to eke out a bit more power (or a tad less), that's more or less what you can expect.

Scientists are working on and have created cells that are much more efficient, but most are too impractical to make it to the market at this time. It may seem like a low number, but it's important to remember that this is not like burning fuel to create energy—the sun will rise whether or not you have installed solar cells on your property, so you may as well use what you can. You do want to get the most efficiency for your buck, though, so it's important to make sure you get the most efficient panels you can afford. 

You also need to think about how you will clean the solar panels. Solar panels can lose efficiency due to the accumulation of dust, so you'll need to be able to clean them off regularly, and having a plan in place beforehand can keep that from tripping you up. You can learn more about solar power by contacting services like Aram Solar.