Think This Through: Which Is Better, Wind or Solar Power?
Do you know which is better, wind or solar power? Think carefully — there are many factors to consider. We’ll explain more in this article, so keep reading!
Ever wonder which is better, wind or solar power? Well, that’s a tough one, isn’t it?
When it comes to comparing multiple sources of energy production, there is a myriad of factors that need to be considered.
In this article, we will cover exactly that. If you want to know which is better, wind or solar power, you’re in the right place.
Keep reading to learn more about solar panels and wind turbines.
How Does Solar and Wind Energy Work?
Solar energy and wind energy, both generate electricity through the medium of using the sun and the wind, respectively. In simple words, that’s about it.
Anyhow, in a little more depth, solar energy generates the electrical current through the capture of the sun’s light. It makes use of a concentrated solar thermal system, which captivates the radiation of the sun, which then heats a liquid in the panel that is used to drive the heat engine, and drive the function of a generator.
But that’s not it. Solar energy can also make use of a Photovoltaic System, which employs the use of a solar PV cell that absorbs the sunlight and then knocks electrons loose. Once the electrons flow, the current is created, and then captured for transfer into wires for electricity deliverance.
Oddly enough, wind energy is another format for solar energy. The reason it exists and works are based on three concurrent principles that have to happen without fault:
- The sun heating the atmosphere at irregular intervals and locations.
- The earth is not a perfect geometrical figure with equal sides and a lack of irregularities.
- The earth is under constant rotation.
So with these three principles, a turbine can make use of the side-effects of the sun to produce energy via another medium of mechanical movement.
The Types of Solar Energy Systems
As mentioned prior, solar energy comes in the forms of Solar Heating and Cooling & Photovoltaic. So let’s take a look at both in a little bit more detail.
Solar Heating & Cooling
Space cooling, space heating, water heating are the primary utility usages of most homeowners. SHC is an affordable solution to the traditional format of gas, and electric space cooling and heating in the home. But it can also be used, to heat water outside.
SHC employs the function of thermal collectors, which use heat to generate power rather than electricity. The solar collector consists of a flat plate, evacuated tube, air collector, and trough.
PV is the most common of the solar system, as well as the one most know about. It is applied in residential areas to take direct energy from the sun and convert it into electricity for the powering of all appliances and necessities within the home.
It can be used for lighting, cooling, heating, appliances, and practically anything that requires electricity.
The Types of Wind Energy Systems
Now what we certainly didn’t speak about are the two forms of the wind energy systems. And they are categorized into horizontal-axis and vertical-axis, as representing the form of their turbines.
Most wind turbines are horizontal-axis, and you are very likely to see them when going through the countryside. If you’eve ever passed a wind farm, they are the turbines with the propeller blades.
On average, they are about 80 feet high, as in that is the residential format in which they are used. That’s about twice the size of a telephone pole, pretty large by all counts.
Nonetheless, one turbine is powerful enough to power an entire home if necessary.
The vertical-axis turbines are certainly more appealing, as they have a very sci-fi look to them. The most common of the vertical turbines is the Darrieus turbine, which looks like two archer bows back-to-back.
These turbines are difficult to mount on top of towers, so they are normally found at the base of a building or on top of it. Nonetheless, they are used in many locations around the world.
A Simple Look At Cost For Solar & Wind Energy
When it comes to comparing the two, cost is a thing to be considered. So let’s take a look at both.
The final cost for a residential solar system varies depending on a multitude of factors, such as the size of your home, location, panel manufacturing, and much more.
In any case, costs are down 70% in the past ten years!
There are no rebates, tax credits, etc. in Ontario or federally for Canada outside of energy projects that displace diesel generation.
Wind energy has greater upfront costs than solar energy. For wind turbines, economies of scale play a large role in decreasing costs.
The real strength of wind turbines is in the numbers, so that’s why we see wind farms, instead of singular wind turbines at each home. To save money, you first have to spend a lot.
So Which Is Better, Wind or Solar Power?
When it comes to choosing, the answer lies in your own question. Which is better wind or solar power? Well, that’s up to you to decide. The use case for each is similar, but the result is gravely different.
For instance, if you’re just looking to save money, and power your entire home solar energy is your best bet. Not only because it is more cost-effective, but because you get to store energy for the days when there’s not enough sun.
Wind turbines cannot be installed everywhere, some places just don’t get that much wind. So if you only have a single turbine, and you’re looking to power your home – you’re looking for trouble. They do have their use, but it’s probably not an effective solution for a general residence.
Now that you know the differences between both, you can finally ascertain which is better, wind or solar power.
Solar and wind have their uses, so consider those and you’re already well on your way to knowing more than others. Wind speed and duration is inverse to sun hours over a calender year. Both solar and wind can work together effectively as a ‘hybrid generater system’ complimenting one another for secure whole power year round.
If you’re interested in either in the Ontario area, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.