Now, if you do not know or have not heard of solar energy and its potential, then you must be living under a rock somewhere. Our long-standing provider of heat and light, the sun, where solar energy is coming from. This seemingly endless power source was considered by past civilizations and worshiped as a God too. That’s all for a good reason too. The sun gives us endless opportunities to use his immense power for the benefit of mankind.
Every day, we can count on one thing and that is the setting and rising of the sun at sunrise and sunset. The sun sends reliable solar energy at the speed of light every morning to shine in the landscape of our land that provides heat and light. It goes up and down slowly on his way to illuminate elsewhere. It is a cycle that has occurred since the beginning of time and will continue until the end of time. However, we have only recently begun to scratch the surface of how to operate, use and get to work on this source of incredible energy.
Energy from the sun throws us a pure and clean energy. It is very different ozone and deterioration of oil polluting the land we use most of the time today. However, solar energy and oil have a common denominator. As extracted and stored for future use oil is solar energy.
While comparing oil and solar energy can not fail to mention the difference in energy supply in relation to another. Our valuable fossil fuels does not compare to the unlimited amount of solar energy available. If we had the ability to capture and completely treat a period of about 30 minutes for a total amount of energy produced by the sun, we could supply almost everyone over six months. That says a lot about the potential of solar power as technology advances.
If there is so much energy out there, why can not we use effectively? One of the reasons that this resource is wasted immense power is that the light we receive is dissipated through the earth. To harness the energy of the sun we have to manage, concentrate and store the sun’s energy. To date, we have developed three effective means for collecting solar energy. They are radiation, reflection and solar panels.
Radiation is used in solar water heaters. A solar water heater has black tubes wrapped in layers of glass that trap the sun’s heat. Thus, heating the tube and the water in them.
The reflection process occurs through the use of one or more mirrors to concentrate sunlight. A bowl-shaped or parabolic mirror can capture and concentrate sunlight concentrated in a designated place. This is another way to use the thermal energy received from our sun.
A relatively recent innovation addition, the solar cell is composed of silicon crystals. When these crystals are struck by sunlight electrons are ejected from their orbit and create a space that is filled by electrons from other crystals. This creates an electrical current that can be used immediately or stored in batteries for later.
Technology Limited dictates that the most efficient solar cells created today are still not able to generate enough energy to use on a large scale without huge areas. This means relying exclusively on solar cells is not practical. If there was a cloudy or overcast reducing the amount of electricity generated would be disastrous for those who depend entirely on this energy.
What prevents us?
Despite the obvious advantages of using solar energy, it is regrettable that no small solar power plants worldwide. Cost and reliability are the reasons why solar energy is not wider audience. Although research results in more efficient solar cells that are smaller in size compared to existing cells. These smaller cells generate much more power too. Currently, the price is quite high in these. However, the day will be affordable and accessible to everyone.