Technologies of Solar Energy

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay


Solar power is sun-based energy that is converted into thermal or electric energy. Solar power is the cleanest and most plentiful source of renewable energy available and the US has some of the world’s richest solar resources. Solar technologies can harness that energy for a variety of uses, including electricity generation, light or comfortable indoor environments, and heating water for domestic, commercial , or industrial use.

Solar Technologies

Solar energy is harnessed in three main ways: photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling, and solar power concentration. Using an automated process, photovoltaics produce electricity directly from sunlight and can be used to power everything from small electronics such as calculators and road signs to homes and large businesses. Solar Heating & Cooling (SHC) and Concentrating Solar Power ( CSP) applications both use sun-generated heat to provide room or water heating for SHC systems or, for CSP power plants, to operate conventional electricity generating turbines.

The Way to Use Solar

Solar energy is a very versatile energy technology: it can be built either as a distributed generator (located at or near the point of use) or as a solar power plant (similar to conventional power plants) with a central station. Both of these approaches, using cutting edge solar + storage technology, can also store the energy they generate for distribution after sunsets. Solar operates within a dynamic and interrelated U.S. electricity network, operating in tandem with other technologies such as wind power to turn the U.S. into a renewable energy economy.

all of these applications are dependent on supporting policy initiatives at local, state , and federal level to ensure equal access for consumers and businesses to renewable energy technologies such as solar.

Electric Generation

Solar cells (photovoltaic cells) can turn the solar radiation directly into electricity. In such cells, if light strikes the junction between a metal and a semiconductor (such as silicon), or the junction between two different semiconductors, a small electric voltage is generated. (See photovoltaic effect.) In general, the power produced by a single photovoltaic cell is only about two watts. Nevertheless, by linking large numbers of individual cells together, hundreds or even thousands of kilowatts of electric power can be produced in a solar power plant or in a large household array, as in solar-panel arrays. The energy efficiency of most of today’s photovoltaic cells is only about 15 to 20 percent, and since solar radiation intensity is low to begin with, large and expensive assemblies of such cells are needed to produce even moderate amounts of power.

Small photovoltaic cells that operate on sunlight or artificial light have found significant use in low-power applications — for example, as power sources for calculators and watches. Larger units were used to provide power in remote areas for water pumps and communications networks, as well as for weather and communications satellites. Classic crystalline silicone panels and new technologies that use thin-film solar cells, including construction-integrated photovoltaics, may be installed on their rooftops by homeowners and businesses to replace or extend traditional electrical supplies.

Concentrated solar power plants use concentrated or oriented collectors to concentrate the sunlight obtained from a large area on a small blackened detector, thereby greatly enhancing the strength of the light to achieve high temperatures. The arrays of carefully arranged mirrors or lenses will concentrate enough sunlight to heat a target to 2,000 ° C (3,600 ° F) or higher temperatures. This heat can then be used to run a boiler, which in turn produces steam for an electric generator power plant with a steam turbine.

The movable mirrors can be designed to directly generate steam such that massive quantities of solar radiation can be focused on blackened pipes from which water is circulated and heated.

Solar energy is used for purposes other than those mentioned above on a small scale too. For example , in some countries solar energy is used through evaporation to produce salt from seawater. Likewise, solar-powered desalination systems turn salt water into drinking water by transforming the energy of the Sun into heat to drive the desalination cycle, directly or indirectly.

Solar technology is also developing as an alternative energy source for the clean and sustainable production of hydrogen. Mimicking the photosynthesis cycle, artificial leaves are devices based on silicon that use solar energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, leaving virtually no contaminants. Further research is required to enhance those devices’ reliability and cost-effectiveness for industrial use.

The Cost of Solar Energy

Concurrent to an increase in the efficiency of solar panels, the cost of solar energy has dropped significantly. The cost of a solar panel installation has fallen over 60 per cent in the last decade alone, and several industry analysts expect that costs will continue to decline in the years to come:

additionally, depending on where you live, several rebates or solar incentives may contribute to lowering solar energy costs even further. Nationwide, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the key benefits available to those interested in renewable energy as it helps you to subtract 26 per cent of the cost of building a solar panel from your federal taxes. This incentive will not last forever-the federal ITC will go down to 22 percent in 2021 and then go completely off for residential solar facilities in 2022. In addition to the federal ITC, several states and utilities offer additional incentives (such as net metering), reducing solar power costs even further.

Solar Energy is a Renewable Power Source

Solar energy is a clean, cheap, renewable source of energy that can be harnessed almost anywhere in the world-any point where sunlight reaches the earth’s surface is a potential location for solar power generation. And since solar energy originates from the sun, it is a unlimited source of electricity. Renewable energy technologies produce electricity from infinite resources. Compare, for example, renewable electricity generation to fossil fuels. It took hundreds of thousands of years for oil, gas , and coal to form, so each time one of those resources is burned to generate electricity, that finite resource is marginally moved closer to depletion. Using a renewable resource to produce electricity-such as wind , solar, and hydropower-will not deplete that resource. There will always be consistent sunlight shining on the surface of the Earth, and there is still an infinite amount of sunlight to turn into electricity in the future, after turning sunlight into electricity. That is what turns renewable energy by default into solar power. While the current electricity mix in the United States is still made up largely of fossil fuels like oil and gas, renewable energy sources like solar are steadily becoming a larger part of the country’s energy profile. As the cost of solar and other renewable technologies continues to be competitive

Thermal Energy

Flat-plate collectors are among the most common devices used to absorb solar energy and transform it to thermal energy, which are used for solar heating applications. Since the solar radiation intensity at Earth’s surface is so small, these collectors have to be large in area. For example, even in sunny areas of the temperate regions of the world, a collector must have a surface area of approximately 40 square meters (430 square feet) to gather sufficient energy to meet one person’s energy needs. The most commonly used flat-plate collectors are a blackened metal plate, lined with one or two glass sheets, which is heated by the sunlight falling on it. This heat is then transferred to air or water which flows past the back of the plate, called carrier fluids.

The heat can be directly used, or it can be moved to another storage medium. Flat-plate collectors are commonly used for house heating and solar water heaters. Heat storage for use at night or on cloudy days is commonly done by using insulated tanks to store the heated water during sunny periods. Such a device can supply a home with hot water drawn from the storage tank, or it can provide space heating with the warmed water flowing through tubes in floors and ceilings. Flat-plate collectors typically heat carrier fluids at temperatures between 66 ° C and 93 ° C (150 ° F to 200 ° F). Depending on the collector ‘s design, the efficiency of such collectors (i.e. the proportion of energy they receive that they convert into usable energy) ranges from 20 to 80 per cent.

The Importance of Standards in the Solar PV Industry

Standards are essential to ensure safety and quality in the solar photovoltaic sector , particularly as the Solar reliability, performance and durability are critical to ensuring smooth operation of solar equipment Power stations. Additionally, compliance with minimum requirements is also always a precondition for feed-in tariffs Provided to solar power developers by Governments. Nearly all modules are officially accredited to meet specifications International design standards for qualification and safety, even if there are still instances of failure in Big modules and photovoltaic devices, as well as blatant fraud.

Therefore foreign efforts are channeled into the improvement of quality control practices Systems for factory modules and visual inspection of incoming products. Given the need for improvement Comprehension of product reliability and validation The International PV Quality Assurance Task 2011 Force (PVQAT) was created, initially containing only national laboratories in the US, Europe , and Japan. It has now expanded to include more than 700 scientists and engineers from all over the world (Kelly and Mahesh One of the key efforts of the task force is the development of scientific methods for predicting possible failures Setting new or enhanced standards.

Solar Energy Advantage

  1. Solar Energy Solar energy benefits have the least negative environmental impact as compared to any other energy source. It produces no greenhouse gases, and it does not pollute water. It also requires very little water for its maintenance, as opposed, for example, to nuclear power plants needing 20 times more water. The production of solar energy does not create noise, which is of great benefit since many solar installations are located in urban areas, such as domestic solar panels.
  2. Reduce energy bill Generating your own electricity means you’ll use less from the utilities provider. This will turn directly into savings on your energy bill. Plus, you can also make money back to the grid by selling the unused electricity you generated. You can make your green investment even more valuable thanks to the solar panel grants offered. The more energy you generate, the less supplier you will need that will increase your self-reliance on energy.
  3. The demand for energy appears to be higher in the time period of 11:00-16:00 and then early in the evening. This is of course the period when the electricity price peaks. During those hours solar energy reaches its maximum production capacity. At the moment, electricity produced has a higher value than if it was produced at night. With the additional solar power input, prices in those time frames could be driven down to a level close to those of night hours.
  4. Solar energy is anywhere applicable: The solar energy can be deployed anywhere as long as there is sunshine. This is particularly useful for remote regions with no access to any other source of electricity. There are large numbers of people around the world who have no electricity connection. Independent solar systems could be installed and boost the lives of millions of people in those areas. Moreover, solar energy is also used to power up spacecraft and boat
  5. Less Electricity Lost During Long-Distance Transport: Solar Energy Profits Some of the energy is lost during transportation and distribution, around 3-5 per cent. The longer the distances between the points of production and of supply, the more energy is lost. Those losses may not seem significant but may affect installation performance in regions with high population density.

Getting solar panels on the roof or in the yard greatly reduces the span, thereby increasing the solar panels’ performance.

Cite this paper

Technologies of Solar Energy. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/technologies-of-solar-energy/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out