Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture, which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces.
Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.
In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that "the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise. These advantages are global. Hence the additional costs of the incentives for early deployment should be considered learning investments; they must be wisely spent and need to be widely shared".
Homeowners across the globe are seeing the solar light. The reasons vary for each person, though they mainly come down to the following:
Solar-energy systems allow you to capture free sunlight and convert it into usable power in your home.
Solar energy can be used to heat and cool your home, but it has almost no impact on the global climate. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to the environment.
It’s Infinitely Renewable
While nonrenewable energy sources like oil, gas and coal are becoming increasingly scarce, the sun’s energy is limitless. Wherever sunlight shines, electricity can be generated.
It can reduce your utility costs.
Having a system that creates solar energy means you use less electricity from your utility company, and that can contribute to lower heating and cooling costs. This is significant, especially when you consider 48% of energy use in a typical U.S. home comes from heating and cooling*.
It comes with incentives
The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credits for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company.
It increases your energy self-reliance
The more sunlight harnessed by the system, the less electricity you need from your utility supplier.
It can also increase your home’s value
An investment in a solar-energy system may improve the value of your home, thanks to its ability to lower the cost of heating and cooling. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that home values rise an average of $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills.
It’s extremely reliable
The sun has been around for billions of years and is likely to burn on for billions more to come. And when you consider how a trusted name like Lennox is putting it to economical use in the home, it’s easy to see solar energy’s future is bright. Solar energy is an infinitely renewable resource that uses the sun’s rays to generate electricity for use in your home. By going solar, you can reduce your energy costs and also lower your dependence on fossil fuels, thereby making your own contribution to a cleaner environment.
Solar energy is an infinitely renewable resource that uses the sun’s rays to generate electricity for use in your home. By going solar, you can reduce your energy costs and also lower your dependence on fossil fuels, thereby making your own contribution to a cleaner environment.
A residential solar-energy system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to harvest the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity that can be used to power your lights, appliances and other electrical devices in the home.