The U.S. is the biggest creator of solar farms. These are non-arable and arable lands propped up with plenty of solar panels. These farms can produce an enormous amount of energy from 1 MW to 2,000 MW. Government agencies use these farms to power public roads and utilities.
The difference between a solar farm and your own set of solar panels are vast. First, a solar farm powers public structures and commercial properties. For instance, a factory can choose to install a solar farm above their wide-spaced warehouse to use the sun's energy to power their operations.
It's entirely possible to install your own solar farm at home. However, you'll need plenty of land where the sun shines intensely during the day. Furthermore, this land mass should have temperate climates; a land that's too hot will cause solar panels to degrade in performance or malfunction.
As you may have guessed, solar farms will need a high investment. Successful farms have plenty of panels collecting energy from the sun and have leased or bought a large tract of land to install them. It involves plenty of contracts and engagements with the government. That said, a solar farm is beneficial to the environment.
Greenly has a detailed article on how solar farms work and everything else about them. Learn more below.
As we know, humans are contributing to climate change and the rise of global temperatures. This has been caused by the greenhouse gases emitted by our extensive use of fossil fuels over many decades. We need solutions if we are to ween off these dirty energy sources.
One of the most discussed solutions is solar power. The most efficient production of solar power is on solar farms.
But what is a solar farm? And how do solar farms work?
What is a solar farm?
If you are familiar with solar panels, you could assume what a solar farm is – a ton of solar panels collected in one area. The panels are usually mounted to the ground rather than to a building or other surface.
What are solar farms used for?
Solar farms are used to collect energy from the sun. They are a renewable energy source that can help replace fossil fuels in our energy-consumptive society, limiting our greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar farms are an integral part of the greater fleet of renewable energy resources we will need to rely on in years to come. Solar farms, along with other solar panels, currently produce power sufficient to power 15.7 million American homes.
Overall, they are very beneficial to limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
How do solar panels and solar energy work?
Like how plants take sunlight and make it into energy through photosynthesis, solar farms use specially designed technology to convert sunlight into electrical energy.
Currently, there are two dominant solar energy technologies in wide use: photovoltaic technology (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power technology (CSP).
PV is the technology that looks like the classic solar panels you are probably familiar with. PV devices are made up of individual cells that can each produce 1 or 2 watts of power. They are connected in long chains that make up the solar panels.
The panels have glass and plastic surrounding the cells. These materials exist to provide a protective layer for the cells. The glass allows light to pass through and reach the conductors, and helps the cells weather many years of living in the open air. In fact, the lifespan of a solar panel is about 30 years.
CSP is a bit different of a technology – it uses a system of mirrors to reflect sunlight and concentrate it onto receivers that convert the sunlight to heat. But most of the time someone mentions a solar farm, they are probably referring to PV farms.
Solar panel farms are specifically designed to let the solar panels face the direction where they will get the most sun. They are often planned in areas that get a lot of sun, taking into consideration latitude, geography (flatness of area), and weather patterns.
In the U.S., many of the solar farms are concentrated in the south, from California to Florida.
After the energy from the sun is collected by solar farms, it must then by integrated into the energy system in order to be used on the grid by homes and businesses.
Batteries are an essential part of this process – without them, we could not store the energy collected from solar farms to save it for nighttime. Instead, we would have to use all of the solar energy as it arrived to the PVs. (Continue reading here to learn more)
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