The increasing population on planet earth demands renewable sources of energy. One of the popular renewable sources of energy is solar energy. It is available on the planet earth in abundance. But where does solar energy come from? Let’s find out!
The Sun provides solar energy. Every year the Sun releases 384.6 YW (yotta watts) of energy. This energy is distributed evenly on the planet.
The acquired sun’s energy generates electricity and more. There are several ways to capture and store the sun’s energy.
Key Takeaways On Solar Energy
- Solar energy is captured from the sun and used through solar panels.
- Solar panels harness the sun’s energy through the photovoltaic effect to generate electricity.
Understanding Solar Energy and It’s Working
The sun is a natural source of light. Each particle of sunlight contains energy, which we call solar energy. This energy fuels our planet earth. It is the solar energy responsible for weather fluctuations.
Every year enough solar radiation hits the earth’s surface to fill global energy needs.
Just like other stars, the sun undergoes through nuclear fusion reactions. Nuclear fusion reactions produce a massive amount of energy.
This energy is radiated outside the Sun’s surface in the form of heat and light. Photovoltaics harness and convert solar power into usable energy.
We can use solar energy to generate electricity in schools, hospitals, and more. Solar energy accounts for a small amount of overall global energy use.
Harnessing Solar Energy For Usable Power
Solar energy, the fastest-growing energy in the world. This renewable energy is clean and safe for planet earth.
Two Different Ways To Use Solar Energy:
- Solar thermal capture.
Let’s Discuss Each of Them
Photovoltaics Solar Energy
Photovoltaics solar energy is used in smaller (residential) electricity projects. Property owners use photovoltaic (PV) solar systems to reduce electricity bills.
The solar panels use a solar PV system to convert sunlight into electricity. The generated electricity is used immediately or stored in a solar battery. It is also sent to the electric grid for credits in electricity bills.
The photovoltaic effect enables solar panels to convert solar energy into electricity. The sunlight falls on the semiconductor material and sets the electron free.
As the electrons move, they generate an electric current. The produced current is direct current (DC).
A solar inverter is used to convert Direct Current to Alternating Current (AC). Conversion of DC to AC is done because the U.S electric grid operates on AC.
Capturing solar energy by installing solar panels and photovoltaic effects save electricity bills.
Businesses install solar panels to benefit from photovoltaic energy generation and save money.
The use of solar thermals is evident in electricity production on massive scales. Solar plants are used to produce electricity and lower temperature variations.
The solar thermals are used for heating and cooling too. Solar thermal captures heat through solar radiation directly to use it in different ways.
When compared to the photovoltaic system, solar thermal provides a wide range of benefits.
Photovoltaic is good for non-commercial use, whereas solar thermal for commercial use.
Three Ways To Use Solar Thermal Energy
Suitable For Heating and Cooling in passive solar building design. Low-temperature solar thermal energy systems control climate.
Areas, where passive solar energy is used, are sun rays and are allowed to heat. To cool an area, sun rays are blocked.
Suitable For Heating water. The mid-temperature solar thermal systems have solar hot water heating setups.
The sun’s heat is captured by collectors on the rooftop through the solar hot water setup.
The generated heat is transferred to the water running in the house pipes. These systems are perfect for 5-star hotels, buildings, etc.
Suitable For Electric Power Generation. High-temperature solar thermal energy systems are used to generate electricity.
The systems have solar thermal electricity plants known as concentrated solar power.
Mirrors are used to focus the sun’s energy on tubes with liquids. These heated tubs hold heat energy to turn water into steam. The generated steam is used to turn turbines and generate electricity.
Benefits of Installing Solar Energy Panels
Installing a solar power plant comes with a lot of benefits. It can be easily installed on your rooftop to generate enough electricity for the entire year.
Let’s dig in some benefits of installing solar power plants:
Renewable Energy Source
Solar energy is renewable, and we cannot run out of it. We receive solar energy through the sun and it is available for the next 5 billion years.
Reduced Electricity Bills
Solar energy is available for free. Solar energy is generated to reduce dependency on the utility supplier.
Solar panels are installed on our rooftops to reduce electricity bills. Saving depends on consumption patterns.
Industrial owners may experience huge savings with installed solar panels.
Solar Energy is used for a range of purposes. Photovoltaics solar energy is used to generate electricity.
Solar thermal systems are used to generate heat. Solar energy produces electricity in the areas without energy grids.
Solar thermal systems distill waters in areas with limited clean water supply. It also provides power to the satellites in space.
Solar energy when integrated into building materials creates transparent solar energy windows.
Low Maintenance Cost
The maintenance of solar panels is easy. It involves little or no cost for maintenance. Just clean the solar panel a couple of times in a year.
Various cleaning services provider companies offer solar panel cleaning from $25-$35.
Most solar panel companies provide 20-25 years of warranty. There are no chances of wear and tear with solar panels.
The only change in inverter and cables is recommended in 5-10 years to maximize efficiency.
The solar power industry is experiencing rapid modernization. The improvements in the solar power industry can increase the effectiveness of solar panels.
These advancements will increase the electrical input of the solar panel systems.
Improved Grid Security
Various installed power plants will reduce the chances of grid blackouts. High penetration of solar energy on these grids reduces overload.
Maximum Energy Production During Peak Hours
Energy consumption rises during the peak hours from 11:00-16:00. During this time, the production capacity of solar energy also rises.
Increased electricity generation during peak hours reduces overhead costs. The prices of electricity during peak hours are driven down to a minimum with solar energy.
Least Impact On The Environment
Solar energy has no negative effect on the environment. It does not pollute the environment or produce greenhouse gases. Its production creates no noise pollution.
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy we receive from the sun. It is used for generating electricity through photovoltaics and solar thermals.
Photovoltaics solar energy is perfect for generating electricity in residential spaces. It captures sunlight to reduce dependence on private sources.
Thermal Solar Plants are perfect for industrial power requirements. It fulfills electricity consumption at hotels, restaurants, hospitals, factories, and more.
Photovoltaics and thermal power plant installations are done based on individual requirements. Installing solar panels reduces electricity bills and fulfills energy requirements.