Solar Energy Basics – Main Ways Solar Energy Is Utilized
Solar Energy is that which emanates from or is derived from heat and radiant energy coming from the Sun. Solar Energy is a form of renewable energy with an infinite number of sources such as hydrogen, helium, neon, boron, phosphorus, silicon, iron, sodium, zinc, and selenium. Solar Energy is being harnessed today through a wide variety of technology including photovoltaic, solar thermal power, solar hydropower, solar energy for industry, solar energy for homes, passive solar design, concentrated radiation systems, photovoltaic, concentrating radiation therapy (CRT), and concentrated in principle (CPT) radiation therapy. Solar energy is also being studied in various advanced engineering applications
Photovoltaic solar energy conversion
is one of the most important technological advances in modern society. It is based on the conversion of sunlight into electricity which in turn produces electricity at a lower cost. There are many ways to use this type of technology including solar cells, solar panels, solar batteries, and so on. Solar water heating is another use for solar energy. This works by using a collection of solar collectors which heat water coming into a house.
Solar thermal power involves the utilization of solar energy
from the sun to generate mechanical power. A collector can be a collection of solar collectors placed together to create a closed-loop system that depends on the sun’s constant movement to heat the fluid. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are used to convert the sunlight directly into electricity. The sun consists of billions of watts of solar radiation and the conversion of this into the electrical current is known as solar PV. Solar photovoltaic systems can be made from photovoltaic cells, semiconductor materials called wafers, and plastic or rubber insulating materials. The size of the system is dependent on the amount of sunlight needed to produce the desired voltage.
In this article, we will discuss only the main ways solar energy
is utilized today. Solar thermal power is very prevalent in rural areas where sunlight is available for a longer period of time than at urban locations. One disadvantage of this type of solar heating is the high installation costs. PV systems are also used in rural areas but are more expensive due to the lack of wide exposure. In urban locations there is enough open space and many solar heating applications can be installed.
Solar hot water systems heat an aquarium
or pool by circulating heated water through a heat exchanger. In these applications, there is no need for large solar panels. Solar collectors are used to heat pools and to dry leaves and other matter outside regularly. These collectors must have direct contact with the sun to work. Otherwise, they will not function correctly.
The last type of solar energy we will discuss here
is called photovoltaic electricity. This is simply another form of solar thermal radiation used for powering electrical appliances at home. The electricity created by photovoltaic cells is direct current electricity which is the opposite of alternating current. Because photovoltaic cells are sensitive to light, they must be exposed to full sunlight to produce usable electricity. This type of electricity is good for our use at home because it is convenient and cheap to use.