Solar power

 Solar power means different things to different people

It could be that you are interested in green energy, getting paid from the state or having something for nothing.

For anyone starting to take an interest in solar energy and in particular generating electricity from the sun there is a lot of learning to take on board.

Particularly because the majority of easy to access information on the internet is written by enthusiasts and by the nature of this group it contains inaccurate, confusing, contradictory and localized information.

Which is fine if you want to and have the time for the research.

I am a simple soul who likes to have something that is tried tested and works. Preferable with as few controls as possible.
In Portugal there was a massive movement of people buying these motorized solar arrays.

Professionals come and install them and they tilt and turn to follow the sun. As a result they are as efficient as they can be. You can power your own home if you had a battery bank and you can sell the electricity back to the EDP (state electricity generator).

If it’s this easy why are we not all jumping on the solar power bandwagon.

In my opinion there are a couple of stumbling blocks. Take for example the amount of money that you get paid for providing all this clean energy to the EDP. The amount has dropped dramatically in the last couple of years.

Making the break even for solar array owners many years longer.

In parts of California they are not taking any more electricity from home generators because it all arrives at the same time in the middle of the afternoon when they don’t need the capacity.

The same could become true in Portugal.

If your payback on the original system is now going to take years longer. Will your battery bank last that long (currently 5 to 10 years) These batteries are very expensive to replace.

The technology isn’t very good. I am no scientist for sure but I have a fundamental doubt about solar arrays. They work in the sunshine.

As they get hot from being exposed to the sun they perform less. ??? In fact they can perform at only 20% of their potential when hot.

The technology sounds like a very temporary solution to me and then of course there is the price you the owner has to pay for the array, installation and such.

Great if you are living in the middle of nowhere but for now I will be warming my swimming pool with the sun and that is it.