Solar energy is our earth's primary source of renewable energy. It is a form of energy radiated by the sun, including light, radio waves, and X rays, although the term usually refers to the visible light of the sun. As oil prices have gone up and other energy sources remain limited, nations are increasingly searching for safe, reliable long-term sources of power. In this scenario solar energy proves to be an abundant energy source which can be put to use. Electricity generation from solar energy at present is no more a new concept to the world. Solar electricity is being clean (pollution free), silent, limitless and free will play a great role in the times to come in the present energy driven civilization. Solar energy is useful in many ways, some are as listed:

  • Generate electricity using photovoltaic solar cells.
  • Generate electricity using concentrated solar power.
  • Generate electricity by heating trapped air which rotates turbines in a Solar updraft tower.
  • Generate hydrogen using photoelectrochemical cells.
  • Heat and cool air through use of solar chimneys.
  • Heat buildings, directly, through passive solar building design.
  • Heat foodstuffs, through solar ovens.
  • Heat water or air for domestic hot water and space heating needs using solar-thermal panels.
  • Solar air conditioning

Power generation from solar
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Every second 657 million tons of hydrogen are converted to 653 million tons of helium in our sun. The missing 4 million tons are converted to light and heat energy via Einstein’s E=MC2 equation and radiated into space. At an average distance of 93 million miles from the sun, the earth collects approximately 4 lbs. of total energy, which supports life on earth as we know it. For every kWh of electricity generated by solar energy, the following emissions are avoided since that kWh need not be generated from a fossil fuel power plant.

There are two ways to use solar energy to generate electricity

  • Photovoltaic type: Photovoltaic (PV) systems converts sunlight directly into electricity
  • Thermal type: Solar thermal plants use heat to generate electricity.

Last Modified on : 12-04-2019