December 2, 2015

What Is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is radiant energy emitted by the sun. This energy comes in the form of solar radiation, which is harvested by solar panels to create electrical power. Photovoltaic (PV) cells, made up of materials called semiconductors link up to create a solar panel which absorbs particles of sunlight and converts it into direct current (DC) electricity. Now that you know the answer to the question, “ What is solar energy,” let’s take a closer look at the benefits of solar power, how it’s measured and different types of solar installations available.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy is not only sustainable, it is abundant and renewable which means we will never run out of it. As a clean, natural a source of power, it produces no emissions to generate electricity. Smart businesses who take advantage of open roof space or land with solar panels will benefit greatly:

  • Reduce Operating Costs

Once the PV system is installed, it will immediately reduce the amount of energy you pull from the grid. In fact, solar power can reduce or even eliminate a building’s electricity bill. This savings can have a huge impact on a business’ bottom line.

  • Boost ROI

Directly add to the value of your property by installing a solar power system. The cost of a solar installation can be recovered within 4-7 years. By being able to lock-in this future energy savings and take advantage of government incentives, businesses who invest in solar power will indeed generate long-term savings with a quick payback. Invest in solar energy technology to see an immediate return on your capital investment.

  • Reliable

Once the solar power system is installed, it will require little to no maintenance. The system can provide clean electricity for 25-40 years.

  • Decrease Carbon Footprint

Not only will you earn the “green” PR label by using this alternative energy source, companies will also reduce consumption of fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce pollution. Having an environmentally friendly image is good for business which can generate a positive response from the public.

Measuring Solar Power

Solar energy can be measured in two ways before it is transformed into electricity. The two common methods include solar radiation (also known as electromagnetic energy) and solar insolation (which is the total solar energy shining on a spot over a period of time). Read more about measuring solar power on our blog.

Solar Installations

Different solar technologies work with different mounting types; KMB provides photovoltaic design and engineering services to help you determine which installation is the best fit for you.

  • Rooftop Installations – from small peak, roof-mount systems for municipal facilities to large ballasted rooftop systems for commercial and educational facilities.
  • Canopy Installations – Canopy-mount photovoltaic structures above wastewater tanks, parking lots, and rooftops.
  • Ground Mount Instal– ground mounted photovoltaic systems for both utility scale installations and distributed generation.
  • Multi-Site Programs – various county and private work consisting of all installation types and sizes.

Solar Engineering

There’s no doubt, solar energy is filling the Earth with free energy and the benefits for your business are numerous. KMB is a leading consulting firm providing photovoltaic design & structural engineering services. Contact us today to find out how to put energy into your projects today!