As awareness of rapidly exhausting resources grows and humans attempt to decrease their environmental footprint, solar power systems are becoming a more attractive alternative to conventional energy sources. This growing trend has led to increased research and development of smaller, more accessible solar harnessing applications. Cheaper and more portable solar power sources are readily available to consumers for myriad uses and the decreased impact on the environment is easily recognizable. Sunlight allows for a safe, renewable and cost-effective alternative to powering the industry that provides the quality of life and sustainability we have come to expect and depend upon.
Unlike the majority of power sources currently in use in most major cities today, photovoltaic systems virtually eliminates the issue of harmful emissions. Gone are the large smokestacks that continuously bellow thick acrid exhaust into the atmosphere from the burning of coal. There is no need to find ecologically safe methods of disposing of heavy water that is formed in the hydroelectric process. While nuclear energy is cheap and it is more dependable, complications arise when disposing of the slag and the depleted uranium rods. Furthermore, the potential risks associated with nuclear power plants include the complete and utter devastation of the land, air and life within miles of the site. Comparatively, the only by-product of solar energy production is clean, efficient energy, thereby creating a safe and ecologically sound environment for people, agriculture, and wildlife.
While it is important, and sometimes even necessary depending on geographical considerations, that there be an adequate source of direct sunlight, indirect light can still provide enough energy to operate the basic appliances within the average home. The fact that sunlight is a constant, highly dependable and permanent resource makes it a very appealing alternative for consumers who are looking for a way to supplement or replace completely their existing dependence on conventional energy applications. Owners of solar power systems enjoy the fact that theirs is a renewable and, aside from the initial cost of obtaining the appropriate equipment, free, energy source.
The placement of photovoltaic receivers, or solar panels, is something that should be considered in detail in order to take full advantage of the sun's energetic rays. Experts suggest facing the PV panels south in order to optimize their retention potential; however, there are two very different distinctions when considering the term south facing. There is magnetic south, which can be located using a compass, and there is solar south which may be distinguished by following the path that the sun takes throughout the day. It is not wise to place the PV cells in a location of heavy or prolonged shadow, such as under a large tree or on the side of the structure, that receives the least amount of sunlight.
The trend of going green, or becoming environmentally conscious, is growing every year. Solar power systems, once only available to the wealthy are becoming more technologically advanced and easily attainable by everyday businesses and families. The impact on the earth and its limited resources is being greatly diminished by the use of alternate energy sources. Within a generation or two the human race will see the reliance on solar power systems greatly increased.