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Solar Power And Wind Power

May 24, 2008
Nowadays global warming and the scarcity of fossil fuels are rarely out of the media. Some people carry on hoping that government will come up with some sort of solution, others don't really care and then a few people are wondering, "how can I help reduce global warming?"

One of the most obvious answers to this question is to use less power by moving your power source from fossil fuels to a renewable energy source. The two most hotly discussed forms of renewable energy are solar and wind power and this article will pit the two against it each to discover which one is best.

Solar Power.

There are many ways to harness the suns power the most common of these is to use a photovoltaic module to convert the suns ultra violet rays into energy. This is the technology used in solar panels. Other forms of solar power include using materials with different layers of salt density to capture the suns power and using a super green house style device to heat air to power turbines. In this article we will just examine solar panels.

Wind Power.

Put simply by using the wind to spin a turbine with a magnet on it electricity can be created. This works in a similar fashion to the turbines powered by steam in a traditional power plant.

The Costs

Although these two power technologies may sound like a perfect solution to the world's energy crisis both have their limitations. Firstly there is the cost, at the time of writing Solar power is cheaper than wind power when implemented on a small scale such as in an family home but wind power is generally cheaper when implemented on larger scale.

Efficiency

Efficiency is of course a big part of deciding upon a renewable energy source. For this particular round of wind power vs solar power home advantage will make a huge difference. If you live near the equator and experience a large amount of sunlight solar power is the clear choice, you should have no problem powering your home from solar panels. Like wise for wind power if you live on a blustery coast. The fairest question to sort this one out would be; what about if the contest took place in a neutral area with limited wind and sunlight. In general in an area with roughly the same wind and sunlight I would say you would be better off with solar power for the simple reason that all sunlight will be absorbed by your solar panels but not all wind will be converted to energy by a wind farm this is because the blades on the wind far need to spin at a certain speed if the wind is to fast or to slow electricity wont be generated.

Appearance

In my opinion for this round there can only be one winner and that is solar power I suppose it's a matter of taste but I find wind farms to be very ugly.

The Conclusion

Well it been a tight contest with each energy source a good bet in right environment but overall Solar Power is the winner due to its lower cost on small installations superior adaptability to different environments and more pleasing aesthetics. That's not to say wind power is a bad option as in the right circumstance it can be a much better solution than solar power.
About the Author
Dick Jonson has a passion for the environment and you can read more about green energy such as solar power and hydro electricity at Greensun.us .
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