Solar energy refers to the massive amount of photons released by the sun, then harnessed via a photovoltaic solar panel to produce electricity. In simple terms, solar energy would refer to placing a solar panel, say on your roof, where it gets direct sun’s rays and once the connection is right, you will be tapping energy into your premise.
How does it Work?
Ever wondered how sunlight is converted to electricity? Well,today we will journey with you through the mysteries. First there’s what you will need to make this a fruitful process;
- sunlight of course
- a photovoltaic solar panel
- storage for he harnessed power
Place the panel on a place where it gets direct sunlight. Connect the wires to an inverter then to a car battery where the energy will be stored.
Once the installation is complete, the magic will happen and electricity will be flowing.
Solar panels are most effective when the sky is clear. Nevertheless, you will still harvest power even on a cloudy or rainy day, only a bit lesser compared to a sunny clear day.
Different types of solar energy
The first type is Solar cell systems/ photovoltaic system. in this type energy is produced directly from the sunlight (the electrons are knocked loose from the electons by the solar energy they then flow through th semiconductor material hence energy is produced).
Secondly, we have the Solar water heating system – as the name suggests, it is about heating water using heat from the sunlight. Solar water plants are also another type. This is type is mainly used in industries. Solar energy in this industrial plants is usd in ways such as : Thirdly, Engine system – mirrored dish in shape of large setellite dish that concentraes heat from the sun is used.
Parabolic trough system – sun’s energy is captured using long curved mirrors that are rectangula and tilted towarz the sun.
lastly, power tower systems– in this huge field mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto the top of a tower that has a receiver with molten salt silts. Heat from this salt silts geberates electricity using a convectional steam generator.
The fourth type is indirect solar heating – materials that will heat up at daytime and the. release the heat at night are used.This type was commonly usd by acient people.
Which are the different uses of solar energy?
- In sea salty water to extract the salt
- Used to heat up water and also heating up buildings
- Usd to produce energy in heat engins
- Solar heaters are used in cooking
- Can be used to cool houses , industrial complexes and buildings.
Solar energy has its pros and cons.
Some of the advantages include :
- The cost of maintenance is very cheap and affordable
- Solar energy has so many applications such as cooking, heating and cooling off buildin to mention just but a few
- Reduces on bills that could be used to pay for electricity
- Does not emitt green house gases after being installed thus not a pollutant.
- Has no specific areas of installation. Can be done on rooftops, in the field among other places
- Solar energy i not depleted when used since it is a renewable source of energy
The disadvantages of Solar Energy
- It is very expensive when initially installing
- Easily affected by the weather (there is no energy production in cloudy days
- Large scale panels lead to habitat loss since they occupy alot of space.
- Cars powered by solar energy are slower than those powered by typical gas.
Solar energy can be store in solar batteries.
Solar energy technology is greatly advancing with time and is expected to have improved greatly in the years to come.