Facts about Solar Energy and Solar Panels

Using the energy from the sun:

For billions of years, the sun has produced energy for the earth. Solar energy is the radiant energy of the sun, which has reached the earth since the dawn of time. Solar energy can actually be transformed into many other forms of energy such as electric energy and heat energy. Man has used the sun’s rays for many purposes since the beginning of time. From agriculture to heating water to drying clothes, bleaching cloth and even providing indoor lighting with the help of mirrors, the sun has helped man expand and grow his civilization and make his life better. Electricity can be generated by solar energy without depleting the earth’s fossil fuel reserves; therefore solar energy is an environmentally friendly means of generating electrical power

The Solar thermal collector:

People from the ancient times have been using solar energy to cook and preserve food for centuries. Indians have used the strong rays of the sun to preserve and dry fish, meats, chilies, and spices. During the nineteen eighties a British scientist named John Herschel very cleverly used a solar thermal collector (an innovative device that was able to absorb sun light to collect heat energy) to cook his food during a trip to the African continent. This solar thermal collector was a breakthrough in technology that was able to utilize the sun’s rays to cook food at that time. Many researchers and scientists followed in John Herschel’s footsteps and finally the solar cell was created. The solar cell is able to convert solar energy into current electricity.

Heat and Electricity Generated by Solar Energy:

Solar energy can actually be used to heat water and indoor spaces, provide lighting to buildings, and even keep swimming pool water warm. Solar energy has always been used to keep green houses warm, and since the ancient times it was used to heat homes. Solar energy can actually be converted into electricity by two ways:

With the help of the Photovoltaic cell: Photovoltaic cells or the solar cells that are present in Photo Voltaic panels convert sun light directly into current electricity. Individual Photo voltaic cells are placed in panels and a series of panels can be fitted in a huge range of devices. These devices can be as small as a calculator and watch batteries, to humongous systems that can power individual homes. Buildings and even power plants that cover many acres can be powered with the help of PV panels. The photo voltaic cell is composed of photo voltaic material that is able to convert solar radiation from the sun into electrical energy. PV panels can actually be installed in just about anything. Industries are really tapping into this “green” means of energy generation since the earth suffers the most by carbon emissions and pollutants that are pumped into the atmosphere by industrial processes.

With the help of solar power plants: these plants are able to generate electricity by concentrating solar radiation from the sun heat up fluids and then produce steam that is utilized to power  humongous generators. These generators are then able to supply electricity that can be used to power many appliances and devices. Solar power plants are the answer for remote villages in developing countries that don’t have grid stations near them. They can actually generate enough power to power small homes, schools and other buildings.

What are the main benefits of solar energy?

Solar energy can be used anywhere:

Solar power can be used anywhere unlike other forms of energy generation, solar energy can actually be used anywhere since the sun shines its rays all over the earth. With wave power, wind power and tidal power, only limited uses can be done. Wave and tidal power are restricted to tidal areas around the globe, wind power requires powerful windmills, and wind turbines in order to generate electricity or transport water or grind maize (windmills) and geothermal energy requires gigantic basins full of water in locations near tectonic plates, where geothermal energy is highest. Solar energy no doubt is available everywhere on earth. Even on cloudy days and at night, PV panels store enough solar energy to charge a battery for several hours.

Solar energy is environmentally friendly:

Solar energy is emission free. Almost all forms of alternative energy are emission free, except geothermal energy which releases emissions but at a negligible rate, that cannot damage our environment. Solar energy is the “green” way of generating electricity. Even if humongous power plants to generate electricity through solar energy are set up, these plants are completely environmentally friendly and don’t damage the environment or the atmosphere in any way.

PV panels are silent energy converters:

Photovoltaic panels don’t require huge machinery to operate or gigantic generators to provide electricity. They are silent energy converters due to the presence of solar cells, which contain photovoltaic material that harnesses the sun’s rays and converts solar energy into current electricity. PV panels can be huge and can also be small enough to power the battery of a calculator or a watch. They don’t disturb the environment and don’t contribute to the bustling noise pollution already over powering our lives.