Category Archives: Science and Technology

Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

Going green in terms of energy expenditure is the best thing you can gift to the mother Earth. We have been slaying the only habitat, the Earth, form thousands of years. With the frequent burning of fossil fuels, we add on the carbon extracts on to the environment, causing harm which definitely is easier to create the reverse. If you are keen on making your house eco-friendly, opting for the solar panel is the wiser move. Opposed to the contrary belief, solar photovoltaic panels don’t require strong sunshine to actually generate electricity for use in the home. They still work on cloudy days, even during rainy days, but it is given that the electricity produced is less effective. Solar panels are becoming more effective meaning that the cleaner and greener energy are being used more often and the people are shifting towards renewable energy. Fewer things can be done in addition to solar panels like using both the solar energy and grid electricity, letting you be benefitted by having the electricity supply available even in the absence of sunlight to power your home.

Solar Panels Pros and Cons

The prices of installing a solar system in your home are sliced due to many people and organizations showing their interest in the renewable sources of electricity. Whether or not you should opt to the solar energy, let’s discuss through the pros and cons listed below.

Pros of Solar Panels

Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

  • Decreased electricity bill
    By installing a solar panel to harvest solar energy at your home, literally, you are slashing on to your electricity bill as solar energy is free for all. You can have your grid electricity cut off if your solar system produces enough electricity to power not only yours but a fewer house like yours. This will definitely end your dependability upon the paid electricity grid for power.
  • Get paid for generating electricity
    Under the government’s Feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, you can get paid for whatever electricity your solar panels generate. You can get paid for the electricity you generate for your home and even sell the electricity back to the grid if your system generates electricity in excess. You are totally benefitted by your solar panels and the solar system in any circumstances.
  • Easy installation and maintenance
    Installing a solar energy system is fairly easy and maintaining them is even easier. Unlike other renewable systems, solar energy harvesting system requires solar panels suited to your needs, solar batteries to hold power and solar inverter to convert DC electricity from the Solar panels to AC for household use. All this is just a one-time cost and can last many years with proper monitoring.
  • Increase the value of your house
    If you have installed solar panels on your house, and are willing to sell your house, you have higher chances to sell the house at an even handsome price than if sold without solar panels. It is due to the fact that you are using your own generated electricity through solar power and helping the environment by doing your part in decreasing dependability upon alternative sources like burning fossil fuels.
  • Free schemes
    There are some schemes available where you can rent your roof to the private solar panel installation firm to generate electricity. The electricity for you will be free for some scheme and you will have rent generated from renting your roof as well. It’s a win-win condition.

[Further reading… ] Solar Energy Pros and Cons

Cons of Solar Panels

  • Initial cost
    Though installing solar panels to generate electricity is one-time cost, it is a huge amount upfront. Neither solar panels, nor the inverter is cheap to install. The costs are declining with more and more organizations showing their interest, though for now, it is costlier. It is beneficial if you are planning to stay on that house for longer period or it is your own house.
  • Not constant electricity production
    Solar panels produce electricity as DC and needs to be converted to AC. Though, during winter and some rainy months, the sun is out there for less time which sometime isn’t enough for a solar panel to harvest enough energy. Hence, having sole reliability on the solar energy is not a good idea as well.
  • Not for all
    Solar energy can be harvested the most with the roofs facing south. Other options decrease the chances of utilizing the panels to their max. Also, if you have your house in city area among the high buildings, your solar panels might not receive much sunlight to provide you with much power. Hence, a proper research has to be done if you are planning on having solar panels installed on your house.
  • Requires huge setup
    If you want to be totally dependent upon the solar energy, you will require large number of solar panels to be installed in order to match your potential daily usage. Along with that, you will need a greater number of batteries to store all the power and supply the power to your electronics continuously. Hence, to power fewer bulbs, small and compact system is perfect while for a house, bigger and costlier system needs to be installed.

The conclusion of Pros and Cons of Solar Panels

By performing proper R & D, you can make your choice for the solar panel installation. It is not a rocket science to maintain a solar panel but it isn’t easy as well. Proper planning will help you figure out your system size and cost and you can have it installed on your roof. Looking at the pros and cons, it’s eventually your call at last.

What’s your thought on it, please let us know.

Pros and Cons of Lithium Ion Batteries

Pros and Cons of Lithium Ion Batteries

Batteries as the source of power have been our undeniable part. Everything that doesn’t run directly from the wall socket, is definitely powered by batteries. The battery being the portable source of power has been very famous in every gadget, household appliance, and can even power small device to a bigger house.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are essential to our energy-dependent lifestyle. We put on watch on our wrist, mobile phone in our pocket and other devices as well. They come in two types, rechargeable and non-rechargeable power source. It has been a couple of decades since the commercial debut of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and today they are dominant in the market as the top choice of portable power. They can be constructed in various shapes and sizes, making it the most preferred one to squeeze the battery even in the tighter of the spaces. The batteries are lighter than their alternatives. Like every other technical component, Li-ion battery to isn’t untouched with the disadvantages.

Lithium Ion Batteries Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Lithium Ion Battery

Image: AZoM

Though the battery is widely used one and is being used for over two decades, there exists equally valued pros and cons. The pros and cons of lithium-ion batteries are given below.

Pros

  • High energy density:

Greater energy density is the chief advantage of Li-ion battery. The devices available in the markets are shrinking in size and need to survive longer between the charges as well, so having the higher density Li-ion battery will help them keep size small and charge holding capacity relatively high.

  • Self-discharge:

The batteries tend to lose their charge much faster when not in use. But with Li-ion batteries whose self-discharge charge is very low than the existing batteries in the market, the problem of self-discharge is highly minimized.

Also Read: Wind Energy Pros and Cons

  • Priming:

Some batteries out there have a need to be priming. Priming is the method of fully charging and fully discharging a battery. But Lithium-Ion battery has no such need. Therefore, li-ion battery saves a significant amount of time and hassle of charging and discharging before they can actually be used.

  • Low Maintenance:

Many batteries out there require frequent battery check by the means of charging and discharging even when not in use. This ensures that there is no memory effect, due to which the batteries start holding less charge. But memory effect doesn’t happen with li-ions, so, there is relatively lower maintenance required with Li-ion cells.

  • Variety of types available:

Li-ion batteries can be manufactured in a variety of types. Some devices require higher current density like in mobile devices and some require high current level like in power tools. Hence, li-ion batteries can be manufactured suiting every device’s needs and wants. This technological advantage has made the li-ion battery the ideal to use the battery.

  • Quick charging:

Unlike other batteries, li-ion batteries take a fraction of time to charge which makes it feasible to use. For example, you can charge your mobile device batteries at the higher speed just by choosing the chargers that can safely charge the battery with a higher current. But other batteries might just take longer time for similar capacity battery.

Cons

  • Protection required:

Li-ion battery and cell require a protection circuit to protect the battery from being overcharged and discharged too far below. The circuit protects the battery by not getting it deflected too far from the safe current limit. Though modern technology has the protection circuit either within the battery or in the device for protection.

  • Expensive:

The li-ion batteries are almost 40% expensive to manufacture than nickel-cadmium batteries. This makes the li-ion battery expensive than the nickel-cadmium and other batteries.

  • Ageing:

The Li-ion batteries suffers from the ageing effect. The charge holding duration is affected by the age of the battery and also the charging cycle. Some manufactures mention the maximum charging cycle of the battery as well. When the battery needs to be stored, the battery can be better charged up to 40-50% and stored in a cool place to increase the life.

  • Transportation:

Transporting the li-ion batteries is relatively risk task, specially by air. Although the battery is transferred in the luggage, but there must be a special care taken to avoid the batteries from short circuiting and should be kept in protective cases.

  • Immature technology:

The li-ion battery is still in the development phase, the manufacturers are constantly researching and trying to produce batteries with higher capacity. It doesn’t work out every time though, under an unfavorable condition of heat, no ventilation, high current flow and others, the battery might explode as well and catch fire. We have seen many incidents of a mobile battery exploding.

Conclusion

Every technology has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. The cons of the technology cannot be eliminated completely but necessary steps can be taken to minimize the cons. By understanding the positives and negatives of the li-ion battery technology, we can make better choices of using the appropriate ones in the appropriate devices.

Wind Energy Pros and Cons

Wind Energy Pros and Cons

We have been naturally gifted with lots and lots of sources to extract energy from. The basic unit of life, the sun, provides us with warmth and light which can also be used to extract energy. The flowing river can be used to power houses through hydro-electricity. The heat as well can be used to extract electricity. The wind energy too is and alternative source of energy. There are areas all around the globe where the wind flow at just right speed over higher course of time that can be used to drive huge blades of windmills.

Wind costs us nothing, it is free everywhere and for everyone. This leads to a conclusion that the operation cost too is cheaper after once when the turbine starts to move and electricity is produced. The United States is planning to produce 20% of its energy from the wind by 2030, decreasing the reliability on the traditional fossil fuels. Research and development is taking place to address the challenges of making the wind power cheaper and more viable to individuals and the business enterprises out there.

Pros and Cons of Wind Energy:

Wind Energy Pros and Cons

After the solar energy, wind is speculated to be the alternative source of energy that could possibly aid in decreasing the consumption of fossil fuels. Though every technology has it upward side as well as the down side and wind energy too has it. The pros and cons of wind energy is listed below.

Pros of Wind Energy

  • Clean Source of Energy:

The production of electricity from wind is clean opposed to the coal, oil and other source which pollute the environment. Wind energy decreases our reliability on fossil fuels and helps in the improvement of environment as well as nations economy.

  • Renewable source:

Wind is renewable source of energy in a sense that till there is atmosphere on Earth, there will always be wind. Unlike fossil fuel, burning the fuel decreases the availability but wind energy doesn’t spend up on using. As long as the sun shines and wind blows, the wind energy can always be harnessed.

  • Cost effective:

Wind energy is produced through rotation of turbines. The turbine provides continuous energy as long as wind blows and doesn’t need any external energy to run the turbine. You don’t even have to harvest the turbine to produce electricity from your home, rather you can buy energy from the organizations which provide electricity from wind energy. It is cheaper to buy and cleaner to use.

  • Use of modern technology:
    Modern wind mills look sleek and attractive unlike older chunky and rusty wind mills. Modern ones are white, slick and good looking, if you have one on your land, you don’t have to worry about them being an eyesore.
  • Rapid Growth and Huge Potential:
    Wind energy has seen tremendous growth over last few years. U.S has seen growth on wind power capacity and is planning on producing 30% of total consumption of energy through wind power. Wind turbine are available in many shapes and sizes and you can have them according to your requirement and budget. It has huge potential as an alternative source, the need is just to have proper research done in order to find areas with maximum potential.

Also Read: Solar Energy Pros and Cons

Cons of Wind Energy:

  • Wind reliability:
    Wind doesn’t have any fixed schedule to flow. It does have a fixed time of year when it is the fastest, but it cannot be said that it will be this windy today. At the time when wind won’t help you, you won’t have any energy produced. And sometimes when there are high winds or storms, the wind might damage the turbine as well.
  • Threat to wildlife:
    The wildlife is under potential threat by the turbines, specially the flying ones. It becomes harder for the birds to fly across the areas with wind turbines. There isn’t a particular solution to the problem, but it’s definitely something that has to be watched for the possible consequences.
  • Noise Pollution:
    The wind turbines can become very noisy as they produce around 50-60dB of sound. If you have one by your house, it can be annoying. It’s a 24hrs torture. However, technology has been searching for a potential solution to minimize the noise of the turbine, but having house away from such wind turbine would be ideal.
  • Suitable to certain location:
    There are certain areas on Earth where the flow rate of wind is relatively constant and productive. The wind turbines are mostly set up in rural areas and for the energy to be transported to the urban areas, there has to be longer transmission lines to be set up which can cost extra in infrastructures.
  • Cost:
    Wind turbines are relatively costlier to setup in the beginning. The infrastructures will cost you a lot and it is hard to find someone who actually harvests wind energy to sell. As fossil fuels are easier to extract and easy to use, wind energy has potential disadvantage over fossil fuel due to cost.

Conclusion on Wind Energy Pros and Cons

The bottom line to this energy production technology is that the world is preparing for the alternative source and the wind energy looks promising one. There will be a day when along with solar PV panels’ farms, there will be a farm for the wind turbines as well and the consumption of the fossil fuel could be decreased to nil.