Within my essay, I have been ask by Mr and Mrs Leckie to looking into and making a decision on what renewable energy would be best suited for the electrical installation that was carried out on the workshop/garage. Before looking at what would be the best renewable to use in the workshop/garage installation I would like to explain what renewable energy is.
Renewable energy refers to a type of energy that is natural and cannot run out. This type of energy has gained a lot of attention in recent years due to the world’s main sources of energy fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas witch are running out and are the main cause of environmental damage. Renewable energy can be reproduced, reducing or eliminating carbon emissions which are responsible for global warming.
When looking at renewable energy my first task was to decide what would be best source of renewable energy for Mr and Mrs leckie as there is a number of ways renewable energy can be obtained The most common types of renewable energy are wind, solar (PV) and hydro power.
I have decided to look into and compare wind and solar (PV) as they are the main ways I think would fit best for the workshop/garage installation.
When it comes to solar energy it is seen as one of the most popular type of renewable energy as it is from the radiation from the sun the key benefit of this is that the sun’s radiation is completely free and occurs everywhere except in the arctic regions. You don’t have to pay any money in order to harvest solar energy. All you need is to invest in a solar panel system.
Solar energy is by far the most abundant form of energy that humans can harvest as seen from the graph below, the size of the solar energy reservoir is considerably larger than all other energy sources combined, including both renewable and non-renewable sources.
“It has been estimated that if only 2% of the solar energy hitting the earth’s surface each day was captured, all of humanity’s current energy needs would be met and even exceeded”
(Source of information: www.blogs.berkeley.edu)
Solar panel (PV) are manufactured in three different variants, Monocrystalline silicon solar panels, Polycrystalline (or multi-crystalline) solar panels and Amorphous/thin film solar panels each panel very
• Monocrystalline – This type of solar panel is made of single silicon crystal it has a high efficiency (15 – 18%) to change UV in electrical energy. The down fall to this type of panel is that it is expensive to manufacture.
• Polycrystalline – This type of solar panel is made re-crystalline silicon it has a medium efficiency (8 – 12%) to change UV in electrical energy. this type of panel is cheap to manufacture.
• Amorphous – This type of solar panel is made of silicon atoms in a thin layer has a medium efficiency (4 – 6%) to change UV in electrical energy. this type of panel is the cheapest out of the three to manufacture.
All three panel are the exact same in respect they all convert the sun’s UV into electricity. The main positive I have found in my research into solar panel is that they can be cheap to manufacture but the biggest positive is that they have no carbon emissions.
The cost of installing electrical solar panel for the Mr and Mrs Leckies workshop/garage would be £5,000 – £8,000. In turn after the installation of the panels it would take several year just to make back the money that was invest into the system.
The unfortunate downfalls to solar panels are that it would take a considerable amount of time just to see back the initial investment into the solar panel system. Solar panels don’t run at night, another big drawback would be that they can make a building loose its aesthetic appeal show in figure 1 below they has been ways of combating this by integrating the panels into structure on the roof such as the tesla solar roofs show in figure 2.
Figure 1- traditional solar panels
Figure 2 – Tesla solar roof
Using wind as a form of electrical energy can be very effective depending on where in the world they are installed as they need high level of wind to function witch I will explain. The way wind in converted into electricity is by using wind turbines. A wind turbine is composed of 3 propellers called a rotor. The rotor is attached to a tall tower. Wind turbine are normal about 20m in height the reason for this is that winds are a lot stronger higher from the ground and there’s less of a buffeting effect.
The cost of installing an electrical wind turbine for the Mr and Mrs Leckies workshop/garage would be £3,000 – £5,000. In turn after the installation of the turbine it would take several years just to make back the money that was invest into the system.
In conclusion with the research that I have found, in my report where I compared solar and wind as a renewable energy for Mr. and Mrs. Leckie. Would be to choose solar panels as the best way of renewable energy they both have their advantages and disadvantages. What made me sway more for solar panel is that they are best on the aspect of aesthetic they take up less space as they are mounted on the roof of the workshop/garage and the time that it take to install is far quicker than a wind turbine.