With just about every country in the world looking for creative ways to power our homes and businesses, it is no wonder that the issue of producing solar power would come up frequently. While most people understand the basics of how solar panels work and what can be done with storing the energy, there are still many people who do not understand some of the intricacies of how solar power is produced. Here is some information that will help clear up some of the myths about what can and cannot be accomplished when it comes to the production and use of solar power.
Solar Power on Overcast Days
Perhaps one of the most popular myths about the use of solar energy is that on days when the weather is stormy or there is not much sunshine, that anyone who relies solely on solar power will simply have to shut down operations and make do. Fortunately, this is not the case for several reasons.
First, just as visitors to the beach can still experience sunburn on a cloudy day, solar panels can still collect some degree of energy from the sun’s rays, even if the day is overcast.
While it is true that the amount of energy that can be collected is certainly less than the amount that can be captured on a sunny day, the process of collection goes on any time there is any degree of sunlight at all. In addition, the energy is stored in batteries that are commonly referred to as solar modules. The energy found in the modules is what is called upon to take care of power needs during the night as well as supplement what is gathered on a cloudy day should the need arise.
Second, most countries do experience enough sunlight on average to make solar power a viable source of energy for operating our homes. For instance, the United Kingdom on average experiences 2.5 hours of energy producing sunlight per day over the course of a year. This average is more than sufficient with current technology to handle the power demands of the average household without draining the solar modules down to nothing.
As the methods of harnessing and storing the energy of the sun’s rays continues to improve, we can anticipate that solar power will be able to handle an even greater demand on cloudy days as well as night time energy usage.
Currently, solar energy panels can capture in the range of fifteen to twenty percent of the energy collected on sunny days during the course of a cloudy day. In many cases, this seemingly low percentage is enough to run the home in and of itself without having to rely on any of the solar created battery power that would already be waiting for use. In effect, solar power is not only a great way for meeting our demands for residential energy consumption right now, but also provides us with the ability to create a large resource of stored energy for future use, simply by expanding our current array of solar panels and battery storage systems.
Of course, solar power is still a relatively new resource in our search for alternative energy options. While the concept of solar power has made some great strides in the past thirty years or so, proponents say that the next decade will see a number of technological improvements. These new innovations will make the harnessing of the sun’s rays even more viable as a means of not only safe and clean power to our homes but also to our businesses and municipalities as well.
As we continue to refine the process of using solar power, perhaps we can also rid ourselves of some of the misinformation about solar energy that has become part of our public consciousness.