Thursday, October 27, 2011

Solar Energy Facts

The solar energy we receive from the sun has a great potential. Since the prehistory man has been using the solar energy for different heating purposes. Virtually every living being has been using sunlight directly or indirectly for million of years now. In modern times, the use of solar energy can manifest in different forms by using different techniques. In the lines to follow we will elaborate some of the common uses of solar energy.

Direction Conversion to Electricity

Solar energy can be directly converted to electricity. The photovoltaic cells or more commonly known as solar cells, convert the light to electricity using a photoelectric effect. The semiconductors doped with an impurity help in creating the free flowing electrons to supply the electric current to loads upon receiving the sunlight. The small cells are gelled together to make a module. Tens of modules are bound together to make a solar panel. An assembly of solar panels is called a solar array. When there are a lot of solar arrays spread over a specific area of land we will witness a solar farm from which bulk electricity can be produced.

Passive Solar Energy Usage

Solar energy can be collected using solar collectors or large bodies of water or other heat absorbing fluids. The energy from the sun can be directly used in heating buildings or offices using large windows. Direct heating of water convoluting the pipe lines over the roof can give them maximum exposure to sunlight and in turn absorbing heat. Black paint can be used in order to absorb maximum solar radiations.

Solar Power Systems

The solar energy can be used more effectively in producing power by using the solar concentrators. The stirling dish, trough or other such arrangement can help in concentrating the sun rays in a way similar to magnifying glass to attain high temperatures. The high temperature attained can be used for thermal storages to be used in cloudy or dark conditions. This is not a possibility in producing electricity through solar panels.  This water can be converted to steam, which helps in running a steam turbine to produce electricity.

Solar energy has the potential to supply electricity to fulfill the current electricity demands of the whole world. This however may never accomplish owing to different technical barriers. Recent advancements in the technology have reduced the costs significantly and we can use solar energy for generation of electricity at our homes.


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