Solar Power

on Wednesday, 11 May 2011.

Solar Power Loves the Queensland Sun

 The clean energy recently listed the top 20 Australian suburbs with the highest saturation of solar powered homes, and guess what.......?  Of the 20 suburbs listed nearly 50% are in Queensland!  Not only are we proud of our sunshine and year round beautiful weather, it seems we are putting it to good use and helping to save the environment.

Most solar energy systems in built up areas, supply solar electricity through an inverter directly to the household and to the electricity grid if the system is providing more energy than the house needs.  When power is supplied to the mains grid, the home owner usually receives a credit or a payment for that electricity. 

The strength of the solar energy available depends on the time of year, the time of day, and the latitude of the generation point.  The amount of energy generated can be further affected by the amount of dust and water vapour in the air, the amount of cloud cover and any shading of the solar panels.  A system with solar panels facing in a westerly direction will generate far less than one with a northerly aspect.

On cloudy days, with the widely used grid connection system, the household is still tied to the mains power supply, therefore any deficit will come from the mains grid.  Although solar electricity is pollution-free, the systems do require a certain amount of energy, which must be 'reimbursed' before they can be considered as renewable and clean.  An assessment from the International Energy Agency concluded in mid 2006 that roof-top solar systems recover their energy content (from manufacturing and recycling) within 1.6 to 1.8 years in Australia.  Once they have reimbursed their initial energy input, roof-top solar systems can avoid the emission of up to 40 tonnes of CO2, depending on their location and on the local electricity mix available. In their lifetime, an Australian roof top solar system is thought to last an average 30 years, in this time it is expected to produce over 17 times the amount of energy needed for manufacture, installation and dismantling.  Ensuring that they more than pay back and make up any energy initially required for set up.

So how much Carbon Dioxide does Solar Power really reduce?

Using a comparison to a car, the average vehicle in Australia travels 20,000 km per year, which is equivalent to 3.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide discharge annually.  A 2kw grid connected system will prevent 3.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide being generated through coal fired power generation - so it's the equivalent of taking a car off the road each year. 

The Queensland Sun is helping to save the planet!


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