Humanity has always needed energy for work and production, and for the most part, human and animal labor plowed the fields and made tools. Then, in the 1800s, steam power and electricity arrived and transformed energy, making new technology and industry possible. By the 1900s, electricity became the standard in many parts of the world. Now, in the 21st century, coal-powered energy plants continue to provide most electricity, but these facilities have come under some scrutiny due to their constant pollution. It is no secret that power plants release a lot of emissions into the air, and efforts to preserve the atmosphere and natural environment demand a new source of energy. Clean energy, such as solar energy and wind farms, have risen to become attractive alternatives. In decades past, going solar was expensive and done only here and there. By now, solar panels can be found in great numbers across the United States, and some European nations have sworn to derive most or even all of their energy with solar panel design in the near future. What does solar have to offer?
Fossil fuels still provide a large percentage of American power today, but their constant pollution has come under increasing criticism. Today, solar panel design is more advanced than ever, and engineers are hard at work to develop new solar panel design to push this efficiency still further. More and more, solar panel design makes for cost-effective and clean energy, making it economically feasible as well as environmentally friendly. In fact, the costs of installing new solar panel design has dropped a huge 70% since the year 2010, promising that solar panel installation may grow aggressively in the coming years.
Is there enough solar energy to totally replace fossil fuels for advanced nations like the United States, Germany, and France? The answer is a clear “yes.” Solar power is classified as a renewable resource for a good reason. While coal seams and fossil fuels may run out as they are mined, solar energy is effectively inexhaustible. Every day, nearly 10,000 times more solar energy flows across the Earth than through the entire industrial world in a given moment. This is enough power for the entire human race many times over, and the sun will shine for billions of years to come. For all intents and purposes, solar energy is a permanent factor, impossible to deplete. With all this in mind, and so much power to go around, how can solar panel design make the most of this infinite energy source?
Various Solar Panels
On a smaller scale, solar panel design involves placing a few solar panels on a private home’s roof when the homeowner decides to have them installed. This is a time-consuming process, but the homeowner may be pleased with the results. Contractors will set up the framework for the panels on the roof, and city and electric inspectors will oversee the project to ensure that everything is up to code. Once the project is finished, the home will start collecting solar energy with its panels to use for all home needs. And if excess power is generated, the home may send it to a local power plant for a small bonus.
Meanwhile, solar panels can be installed on a large scale as well. Solar panels are limited in size today, but many hundreds of them can be linked to form massive arrays to capture energy on an industrial scale. These arrays are typically placed in empty patches of ground where they won’t get in anyone’s way, and areas of the United States and the world with a lot of sunlight are ideal. Badlands and deserts, for example, may have little cloud cover to interfere with energizing sunlight, so massive solar panel arrays may be set up. Even the world’s driest non-polar desert, Chile’s Atacama Desert, has solar panel arrays. These large arrays can collect enough power for entire neighborhoods or city blocks at a time. Already, many thousands of American homes are powered this way, and Texas is a major factor in this. With its sunny skies and dry land, Texas is a fine place for solar panel arrays to work with maximum efficiency and power many homes.