First of all, it should be noted that the resource for solar energy is the energy of sunlight. Convert which can be either electric or thermal energy. It is done by means of special installations.
Based on the calculations of scientists, we can conclude that a week on the surface of the earth from the sun gets such an amount of energy, which is several times greater than the amount of energy produced by different sources on earth.
Undoubtedly, solar energy is a promising industry, but still it has two sides of the coin.
With more or less advantages, it’s clear. It’s the universal availability and inexhaustibility of the resource. The downsides include such aspects as:
- the relative dependence on weather conditions and time of day;
- the need to use batteries when getting solar power;
- the cost of equipment in operation;
- temperature fluctuations upwards on the surface of solar energy collection units.
Numbers and indicators for solar radiation
Let’s start with the terms and basic indicators. First of all, this is the solar constant, the value of which is 1367 W. Just such a figure in relation to the incoming amount of energy gets on one square meter of our planet’s surface. Naturally, since the sun’s rays are hampered by layers of the atmosphere, a slightly smaller amount of energy penetrates. For example, in the equatorial zone it is 1020 W. Adding to this frequent changes of time of day and night, the angle of incidence of the sun’s rays, you can see that the indexes are reduced by at least three times.
Not once, asking themselves the question: “Where does solar energy come from?”, scientists of different countries and at different times tried to answer it by applying different hypotheses and theories. But, starting from the 19th century, this interest has acquired a different character. And today there are more concrete and clear postulates regarding solar energy sources. It has been established that during the process of interaction of four hydrogen atoms with subsequent transition in the state of helium nucleus this transformation takes place with emission of large amount of energy.
Let’s consider for illustration the energy emitted during the formation of one gram of hydrogen. It can be correlated with the energy obtained by burning fifteen tons of gasoline. The numbers speak for themselves.
Conversion of solar energy
It goes without saying that after receiving such energy from the sun, it needs to be converted to a certain state. This is because technologies are currently unable to meet people’s needs and requirements for large amounts of solar energy. In a view of these factors and various solar batteries and a solar collector have been invented. Applying the first, it is possible to generate and receive free electric energy. If to consider collectors they are intended for thermal energy.
Consider the most popular ways to convert the energy of sunlight:
- thermo-air energy;
- heliothermal energy;
- with the use of solar balloon power plants.
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The method of photovoltaics is the most popular. This method consists in using various photovoltaic solar panels. In the common people called solar panels. With their help, the very transformation of the solar into electricity takes place. The material used in the manufacture of such panels is silicon. The working surface with a thickness of no more than one millimeter.
Such panels can be placed anywhere. It is important to consider only a large amount of sunlight, which should be without obstacles to get to the surface of the solar panel. Solar panels for the home are a good option. Simply put, these are photo plates that are installed either on the roofs of country or apartment buildings.
Thin-film panels are also successfully used to transform the sun’s rays. Their striking difference is the thickness, it makes it possible to place such panels almost anywhere. But their coefficient of efficiency is an order of magnitude lower than that of photo plates. Therefore, the use of thin-film panels will be appropriate only for a small surface for installation, such as on the balcony of an ordinary multi-storey building or on the lid of a laptop.
The conversion of solar energy into thermo-air energy is gradual. The first stage is the transformation of airflow into energy. Then it is directed to a turbogenerator.
Aerostat solar power plants are also often used. Here, water steam is generated inside the balloon itself.
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A similar effect can be achieved by heating the surface of the balloon from sunlight. The surface of the balloon has a special coating with a selective-absorbing property. The main advantage of this method is the concentration of rather impressive volume of steam. This allows the stations to work at the moments when for various reasons the generation of solar energy is not possible. At night time or when weather conditions do not allow.
Looking at the principle of geothermal energy, it should be noted at once that the process itself is also extremely unthinkable. When the sun’s rays hit the surface of the unit, heating occurs with further focusing and transformation of the received heat into energy.
For understanding, we give the most obvious example. Water is heated, and then it can be fed either to the heating batteries of various buildings, sewage system. This method can significantly reduce gas and electricity consumption for such needs. And on a larger industrial scale, such an algorithm is appropriate for obtaining electrical energy, which give impressive thermal machines.
Scopes of solar energy application
The range of solar energy applications is extremely wide. Already now it is used at factories, at building, successfully apply in the chemical industry, realise projects of heating installations of water for buildings and it only few examples. Many believe that solar energy is a relatively recent process. But, since 1955, these methods have been successfully applied in the construction of cars. That’s when the first ancestor of today’s electric cars was released, which are successfully produced by such car giants as Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and others.
Already today, around the world in the use of installations that can heat the water at home, cook food and illuminate living areas. A striking example is the solar ovens made of foil cardboard, which at the initiative of the UN were provided to refugees in different countries experiencing difficult political situation. And on the territory of Uzbekistan, for example, there is the largest furnace, which is successfully used for melting various metals and heat treatment, but it is quite a different scale than the domestic ones.Floating Solar Plant -Attractive Solar Energy Projects is getting trending now
The most unusual examples where energy obtained from the sun was used are:
- A case with a photocell for a phone, which is also a charging;
- Hiking bag (backpack), on the back side of which is attached solar panel, with it you can charge your tablet, phone, and in general any device of medium size;
- Clothing with a special material that generates energy from sunlight, and then with the help of special devices sends it to the connected devices.