Solar radiation is the energy released when nuclear fusion reactions occur in the Sun. The temperature of these reactions, which produces a loss of mass that is transformed into energy, usually oscillates around 5727 ° C. This energy is what we call solar radiation and we can measure it through a “pyranometer”. Thanks to the sensor that it incorporates, we can measure very precisely the incident solar radiation on the Earth’s surface. If you want to know more information about solar radiation and what benefits it has as energy, keep reading this article.
What is it and how does solar radiation affect a home?
Solar radiation is measured in W / m2 and represents the instantaneous power density received on a surface as it can be in that of the house. The amount or incidence of solar radiation can vary throughout the day from 0 (at night) to 1 kW / m2 (during the day). In addition, it can influence to a greater or lesser extent depending on the geographical area and weather conditions as well as the season of the year. These aspects are essential when you want know her amount of solar energy that our photovoltaic installation can absorb. For this, it is usually calculated what is the solar radiation or insolation on an annual basis.
The instruments used to obtain these incidence data are the pyranometer or solarimeter. With them it has been possible to have samples for more than two decades of solar incidence analysis in some particular areas. We can also use a pyrheliometer that measures direct solar radiation. And another practice that has been used for a long time is the use of sun recorders or also called “Campbell-Stokes”. These recorders record how many hours of sunshine there are in a day, as long as the radiation is above 200 W / cm2. Thanks to all the information collected in the environment of our home, we can get more benefit from the orientation of our windows or solar panels.
Does the use of solar radiation have an environmental impact?
Solar energy and radiation are part of the group of renewable energy sources that do not generate a negative impact on the environment. However, going into more detail we must have a control of the raw materials that can cause a danger in the water of nearby lakes, wells or rivers. Among the hazardous substances, thin-film photovoltaic panels can present a greater number of toxic substances that if not handled and disposed of correctly, can cause significant environmental damage, as well as public health. For example, a leak of the heat transfer liquid from the solar panels that could endanger a nearby lake where water is supplied for irrigation or the like.
Regarding the use of land for the installation of large photovoltaic plants, it can be one of the negative points since it can affect the habitat. The ideal would be to allocate soils from low-productivity crops to the installation of solar plants. In this way, we will not have to affect the soil of forests and natural habitat areas where groups of animals reside in the wild. On the other hand, the installation of self-consumption in individual homes or in the city does not entail any impact on the habitat. By transitioning single-family homes from fossil fuel systems to renewable energy, we will be able to meet the 2050 goals without issue.
Benefits of solar radiation
Solar radiation is an inexhaustible and renewable energy source with great potential for the planet. In countries like Spain, it is part of one of the alternative energy sources that accompany fossil fuel installations as support in industrial or domestic use. However, reality must gradually adapt to the new transition if we want to reduce the environmental impact on the planet. The European Union has launched a regulation that requires taxpaying countries to use renewable energy in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. To further increase the chances that you decide on a solar energy system, we detail some benefits of solar radiation:
Solar rays can be absorbed in all countries of the world and, unlike fuels, solar energy is inexhaustible and does not destroy the planet
It does not contaminate the environment
This clean energy source does not pollute the environment. It does not emit greenhouse gases and the manufacture of its systems does not generate an impact comparable to the extraction of fossil fuels
Solar energy is not influenced by the ups and downs of the world economy or its availability. Electricity varies its prices through the marketers, but the supply will always be free if it is done as self-consumption. Fossil fuels can vary in price upward in times of scarcity. On the other hand, solar energy is always available and we can capture it for free
Ideal for areas isolated from the electrical network
In areas outside the urban center or on the outskirts in non-communicated areas, the electricity network does not reach in some cases. For these areas, the option of self-consumption with batteries can be an effective alternative to enjoy electricity. As long as the sun’s rays strike with a certain frequency, it is feasible to carry out an installation to collect and take advantage of solar energy