The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power in Buildings Design
Our world is struggling with power crisis. Because of this, many people are searching for ways to overcome this problem. One of the ways is using alternative energy. Alternative energy is renewable energy sources that are usually free and clean. One of them is solar energy. Solar energy can help in generating electricity by converting solar power (sunlight). The solar power can be use in many ways such as providing electricity for home and business buildings. The use of solar power in buildings is still a new trend.
There are still many people that do not know about the advantages of using solar power in their building. Therefore there are still many building that is not equipped with the solar panel to generate electricity for the building. Nowadays, the solar power is used in building design especially for home and business because in can help in saving cost. Although there are many advantage of using solar power, it still has the disadvantages of using it.
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One of the advantages of using solar power in building design is that it can help in saving energy.
According to Russel (2009), solar energy provides electricity generation by direct use of it heat or photovoltaic mechanism (Solar Cell). The solar energy can be used for many things, such as heating our home, making hot water and even for cooking dishes. Furthermore, this solar power will always available every day anywhere the sun shines. The solar cell will absorb sunlight and generate electricity to use. Therefore, by using the solar power, we can save the energy and it is also free. Solar energy does not only used to generate electricity, it can also be distributed in the form of heat.
A house can be built and designed to collect and store the solar power an use it to heat the house by distributing the heat. Solar power system also consists of battery backup systems. During the absence of sunlight the battery can store electric energy absorbed by the solar cell (Peter, 2007). Although there is no sunlight the battery can store electricity that they have absorbed before and this process will be continually repeated. According to Sue (2010), the battery has enough power to provide long-lasting power for both homes and business building.
The lifespan of the battery is also guaranteed and earth friendly because it does not use lead based chemical. Therefore, the use of battery in solar power system give advantages in providing power for buildings and also does not harm the environment. All the information above show that the use of solar power can help in saving energy and also help in keeping the environment healthy. Another advantage of using solar power is that it is cost effective. Electricity is converted from sunlight by using solar panel (Russel, 2009).
Solar cell system is affordable and attractive in area with direct sunlight. Nowadays the cost for installing solar system is affordable by people although it stills a bit high, but the price is lower than years before. As we can see in paragraph one, solar power will always be available every day anywhere the sun shines. Therefore, the power provided by solar energy will always be free. With this free energy, buildings owners does not have to pay for the power they use and they can use the money for other important things.
In some countries, there is grid – tied system that runs the electric meter backward called net metering. With this system, the bill that homeowners have to pay will be reduced because of electric meter that run backward when they use solar energy. According to David (2008), the solar cells or panel only need very little maintenance to keep it running. This is because of there is no moving part in solar cell. So, there is little chance that it will break down. A solar cell can last for a long time with only an annual cleaning to worry about.
As a result less cost is needed for maintenance. Therefore the use of solar power is cost effective because it can help in lowering the cost of using energy and low cost of maintaining. Despite the advantages of solar power, it also has its own disadvantages. According to Don (2012), one of the disadvantages is its low efficiency. The use of solar system requires large areas of land and suitable location. In area where space is limited, such as a city, may not possible to install enough solar panels for the system to be an efficient source of energy (Cynthia, 2010).
Because of the space limitation the system can only produce small amount energy and might not be able to provide enough energy to buildings. Furthermore, solar panels must receive direct sunlight in order to produce electrical energy. Without the sunlight, the solar panel is useless and it only wastes of money installing them. There also are some areas where the sun’s rays may be obstructed by large buildings or heavy forestry. Because of this problem, the system cannot produce enough solar energy that is needed.
According to Cynthia (2010) again, electrical energy that produces by solar panel can only be created when the sun is shining down on the solar panel. For example, at night or cloudy days, the solar panel is not able to capture enough solar energy from the sun to convert that energy to electrical energy. The battery backup system helps to overcome this problem, but there is still some energy that lost when the panel does not receive direct sunlight. Therefore, it can be concluding that the solar power system is still not perfect because of its low efficiency.
In conclusion, the advantages of using solar power have made it a choice for people who want to use alternate electrical energy sources. The used of solar power in building design give lots of benefits to the user especially because it is free source of energy and cost effective. It is also clean and does not harm the environment. Although the use of solar power in building is still new, the number of building that using it is increasing rapidly. Despite the advantages, the disadvantages of solar power must also be considered because wrong use of it can bring more harm than good.