Is solar power environmentally friendly?
Although solar is a well-known source of clean energy, some argue it's not environmentally friendly. Let's dispel some myths and talk about the environmental impact of solar power.
People want to save the planet. This means that more people are interested in renewable energy sources like solar power. Solar energy has seen a significant rise in popularity among green circles, with an average annual growth rate of 50%. Why? Three reasons.
- Over the last decade, solar panels have seen their prices drop
- The sheer economic power of the solar industry
- Solar's reputation for being a reliable source of renewable energy is impeccable
Despite this, it is not unusual to hear solar energy being criticized for being less environmentally friendly than it is. Although solar energy isn’t perfect, we believe it has the potential to revolutionize the energy sector. Top Solar Provo conducts regular research on solar energy technology and then applies that knowledge to our plans and services.
We want solar to become even cleaner, despite what some might say.
What are solar panels made of?
Quartz is a common mineral used in the production of solar panels. Researchers discovered that quartz is composed of silicon atoms and oxygen. This mineral can be used to make solar panels.
Quartz was once used by solar panel manufacturers to produce silicon. Quartz crystal mining can expose miners to silicosis. This is a lung disease that results from inhaling small amounts of silica.
Quartz-rich sand can be combined with mined quartz to make the same metallurgical grade silicon for solar panels. Top Solar Provo's solar panels are exclusively made from quartz-rich, sand. Our motto is "From Sand to Solar!" This ensures that our panels do not pose a risk to people who are exposed to silicosis.
Manufacturing Solar Panels: The Challenges
This is the problem: To make metallurgical grade silicon usable for capturing sunlight, that quartz-rich soil must first be transformed into polysilicon, a form of silicon with an altered atomic structure. Silicon tetrachloride is a byproduct of the chemical reaction that creates polysilicon. It can lead to soil acidification and produce harmful fumes if it's not properly disposed of. Scientists have now discovered a way to turn silicon tetrachloride into polysilicon, which can be used in the manufacture of more solar panels.
Researchers continue to look for ways to make this process more sustainable and improve it. China, where solar panels are made in increasing numbers, has established regulations that require manufacturers to recycle at most 98.5% silicon tetrachloride. Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy division) are exploring alternative production methods that could eliminate silicon tetrachloride completely. Both of these strategies should result in a significant reduction of waste, which will improve the status of solar power as an eco-friendly source of power.
Do Solar Farms Impact Wildlife?
Since the introduction of solar farms, environmental and government groups have been concerned about their impact on animals and plants. These conditions are constantly being improved by the solar industry, and newer solar projects have been given special attention.
Top Solar Provo