The good, the bad and the ugly of adopting solar power? What makes it great, what are the downsides? Why should we be doing this?
Solar power can be harnessed in all areas of the world and is available every day. It is the sun after all and we live in the Sunshine state.
Solar is a totally renewable energy source.
It reduces energy bills – sign me up!
Solar power has diverse applications. Such as supplying energy to places off the energy grid.
Other applications, include building materials to help power a building:-
Low maintenance costs – a system should last at least 20 years with very low maintenance.
The initial cost of installation can be fairly high. This includes paying for solar panels, inverter, batteries, wiring, and for the installation. However, solar technologies are constantly developing, so it is safe to assume that prices will go down in the future.
Solar panels are dependent on sunlight (of course). To effectively gather solar energy. Therefore, a few cloudy, rainy days can have a noticeable effect on the energy system. Not something we need to worry about in sunny Florida.
You should also take into account that solar energy cannot be collected during the night. Therefore, you will need to store that power generated in the day.
Here in Florida we also have the extra concern of Hurricanes, unless they get a hit directly from flying debris, these panels can withstand the extremes.
Solar energy has to be used right away, or it can be stored in large batteries. These batteries, used in off-the-grid solar systems, can be charged during the day so that the energy is used at night.
The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you will need. You want to collect as much sunlight as possible. The solar panels require a lot of space and some roofs are not big enough to fit the number of solar panels that you would like to have. This is where at Hlevel Architecture, we can help you to incorporate what you need in to the design. Hlevel Architecture Sustainable Practices
Although far less than other sources of power, solar energy can be associated with pollution. Transportation and installation of solar systems have been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases. There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of photovoltaic (PV) systems. Which can indirectly affect the environment.
However, remember when making this choice the benefits of solar vs fossil fuels far outweigh the pollution it creates.
We all agree that solar panels look pretty ugly. That is where Hlevel can help, with beautiful, sustainable and flexible design practices.
The roof of the new Ankrolab Brewery designed by Hlevel Architecture is designed to be “Solar-Ready”. This means that the roof is fortified and engineered to easily attached solar panels in the future. This is a good option in cases when owners are not ready to make the initial investment or simply want to wait.
We will look at making solar beautiful, in part 4 of this Solar Series. Until next time.