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What is solar energy?

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Solar energy produces renewable or "green" energy by harnessing sunlight and heat.

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic cells, are used to capture the most common form of solar energy. They are practically placed edge-to-edge in solar power plants to collect sunlight over large areas. Sometimes, you'll also find them floating on top of homes and other structures. The materials used in semiconductors are used to make cells. The sun's rays cause the atoms of cells to lose their electrons when they hit them. This makes the electrons move freely inside the cell and produce energy.

What is the importance of solar energy?

Solar energy is important because it has played a role in the processes of evolution of living things. It also supports photosynthesis, which plants use to produce food and biomass, as well as water and wind energy.

You’ll be posting loads of engaging content, so be sure to keep your blog organized with Categories that also allow visitors to explore more of what interests them. In addition, solar energy is the most important of the so-called category of renewable energy sources. At a time when there has been a noticeable decline in the quantities of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal in addition to natural gas, it is clear that the importance of solar energy as a renewable energy source has increased because it is not decreasing and is not polluting by nature. In addition, the potential of solar energy is enormous, as the Earth receives about 200,000 times the total daily electricity generation capacity in the world every day in the form of solar energy.

How does solar energy work?

Solar power generation begins when solar panels absorb photons, or light particles, into photovoltaic cells, generate direct current (DC) energy, and then convert it into usable alternating current (AC) energy with the help of inverter technology. The AC power then flows through the electrical panel of the house and is distributed accordingly.

What can solar energy be used for?

Solar energy is used in two main ways: electricity generation (such as rooftop solar panels) or thermal energy generation (such as concentrated solar power plants). For most homeowners, solar panels that convert solar energy into electricity are the best use of solar energy - you can save on electricity bills by installing solar power at home.

How old are solar panels?

Solar panels typically last 25-30 years before you start seeing more severe declines in performance than is beneficial for many homes. But during those roughly three decades, free solar electricity will be generated from the sun.

Electricity generation

A single solar cell typically produces only 2 watts of power. However, hundreds or even thousands of kilowatts of electrical energy can be produced in a solar power plant or in a large local assembly by joining many individual cells together, as in a solar panel array. Because the intensity of solar radiation is already low, most modern photovoltaic cells have an energy efficiency of only 15-20 percent, and in order to generate modest amounts of energy, large groups of these cells are needed.

Advantages of solar energy

• Raw materials are renewable and unlimited. The amount of solar energy available is staggering - nearly 10,000 times what humans currently need - and it is constantly being replaced.

• Solar energy has low emissions. Solar panels do not cause any pollution, but they do have an environmental cost through manufacturing and construction.

• In the long run, solar energy is economical. Solar panels and their installation come at a high initial cost, but this is quickly compensated for by saving on utility bills. After all, they can even make a profit from using it.

• Solar energy is suitable for remote areas not connected to power grids.

• The solar panels have no moving parts and therefore no noise. By contrast, wind turbines require noisy gearboxes and blades.

• Solar energy creates environmentally friendly jobs. The production of home solar panels has become a source of employment in research, manufacturing, sales, and installation.

• Solar energy sustains foreign energy expenditures. In many countries, a large percentage of the profits are used to pay for imported oil for power generation.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

  • High initial cost

  • Intermittent energy source

  • Uses a lot of space

  • Small amount of pollution during manufacture, transport, and installation

  • Not ideal if you plan on moving house

  • Low energy conversion rate (Even the most advanced solar panels still only convert around 20-25% of the sun’s energy into power)

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