Solar Energy Facts

General Solar Energy Facts:

  • Solar Energy is far more environmentally friendly than traditional energy forms
  • Solar Energy is available in several forms, for several uses, including electricity, hot water heating and radiant/space heating
  • Solar Energy is often found in our day to day lives, including heating swimming pools, power for cars, running attic fans and lighting (both indoors and outdoors) and Solar Energy even powers millions of calculators around the world every day
  • Solar Energy can even be used for cooking
  • Solar Energy is becoming dramatically more popular than ever before – Currently, the world-wide demand for solar energy products can not be met by the supply

Solar Energy Facts About Usage:

  • Solar Energy is measured in kilowatt-hours – 1 kilowatt = 1000 watts
  • The abbreviation for kilowatt-hour is kWh
  • 1 kWh is the amount of electricity used to burn a 100 watt incandescent light bulb for 10 hours
  • In 1999, the US DOE (Department of Energy), reported that the average American household used 866 kilowatt-hours/month (an average cost of $70.68)
  • On average, 30% of energy consumption is used for hot water heating

Solar Energy Facts About Solar Systems:

  • A typical solar electric (PV) system includes: solar panels, a dc-ac inverter, a battery, a charge controller (if batteries are used) and the wiring and mounting frame
  • A kilowatt PV System can be installed in 1-2 days, with a typical cost of around $10,000 (not accounting for any federal, state and local incentives/credits)
  • A typical 1kW PV System will consist of about 10-12 solar panels (depending on the size (wattage) of the solar panels) which are installed facing south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern hemisphere
  • A typical a 1kW PV System requires about 100 sq ft of roof/ground/pole space for installation
  • In a sunny climate (5.5 hours of sun/day) a 1kW PV System will produce around 1600 kWh of electricity per year, whereas, the same system in a cloudier climate (2.5 hours of sun/day) will produce about 750 kWh per year
  • On the Eco-Friendly side, a 1kW PV System will prevent around 170 lbs of coal from being burned every year, 300 lbs of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere and save 105 gallons of precious water from being consumed
  • A typical Solar Energy System comes with a 5-year warranty, however, the solar panels will generally have a 20-year warranty
  • With a proper battery backup, a Solar Energy System can produce 100% of a home or business’ energy needs (including nighttime and cloudy hours)
  • Solar Energy can easily be stored in batteries, reflected, insulated absorbed, transmitted and used to power your home/office appliances

Solar Energy Facts About The Sun:

  • Sunlight reaches the Earth in about 8 minutes, after traveling 93,000,000 (MILLION) Miles at 186,282 miles/second
  • Technically, the Sun is the main source of our fossil (non-renewable) energy forms (coal, oil, gas) because they were living plant and animal matter millions of years ago
  • The Sun, and Solar Energy, is responsible for our weather patterns and ocean currents
  • Clouds, and pollution more so, can prevent sunlight from reaching the surface of the Earth

Other Interesting Solar Energy Facts:

  • In 1447, Leonardo Da Vinci predicted a future solar industrialization
  • In just one hour, every day, more Solar Energy strikes the surface of the Earth than could be used by the entire population in a full year
  • In 1990, a completely solar powered aircraft (no fuel use at all) flew more than 3000 miles across the USA
  • Fierce weather is a side-effect of global warming, and in in 1998, $130 billion dollars in damages due to weather were recorded around the world (more than the combined totals from 1980 – 1990)
  • Roughly 2 Billion people (nearly 1/3rd) of the world’s population is without electricity
  • The USA makes up 5% of the world’s population, but uses more than 26% of the world’s energy
  • In energy consumption from a single source, ovens are number one, followed by microwaves and air conditioners
  • Third world countries with abundant sunlight and no electric infrastructure are the fastest-growing market for solar energy – in developed countries, industry and utilities are the largest consumers
  • Shell Oil, a leading petroleum company, predicts that 50%, or more, of the world’s energy will come from renewable energy sources (including solar) by the year 2040