Monday, May 3, 2010

How Efficient Is Solar Energy

In the first half of the twentieth century solar energy was used in a very limited way. Coal, oil and natural gas were so cheap in the industrial countries of the world. As we are running out of non-renewable source of energy, mankind has started looking for renewable source of energy.

Today, almost all the countries use solar energy and many have plans to use larger amounts in the future.

The efficiency of solar energy depends on the materials used to make each solar cell. A solar cell is that portion of a solar panel in which sunlight is collected and converted to solar electricity. The materials within each cell that perform this valuable duty are called semiconductors. The efficiency of a solar cell is measured as the percentage of the total sunlight striking the cell that is converted into electricity by the cell.

The efficiency rating of using solar power can range from 5% to 15% but it can even increase to 40%. This level is enough for the amount of power that you need for your home. The number of solar panels that you need for your home is determined by the total output wattage that is required to supply the needed electricity.

There are three main types of solar photovoltaic cells and these are polycrystalline, monocrystalline and thin film. Each has different efficiency ratings when converting the suns energy into electricity and they all have their pro’s and con’s.

The main difference between them is size and price. The more efficient technologies like monocrystalline are more efficient than the other two and so the panels are smaller and take up less space when comparing like for like in energy output but they are more expensive.

Thin-film solar panels are considered the wave of the future. They cost much less to manufacture than crystalline silicon panels but as of yet cannot equal silicon in conversion efficiency.

So, decide which panels you need to calculate your energy requirements, how much to invest and then compare the different panels. Find good suppliers and compare their rates and services. It is also important to be meticulous about specifications because these determine the difference in the prices.

There are many other aspects that can affect the efficiency of your panels.

1 . How often you clean them

2 . Are they infrared

3 . How much sun do they get

4 . How hot do they get.

It is a surprise to many people that for most panels their efficiency drops when the temperature starts to go above 25 Deg Celsius.

Value of solar energy does not seem very efficient, although it is improving year on year. However, don’t get too tied up about the efficiency of the panels, focus more on the output, size and level of investment.

Solar power is still a relatively young technology. Scientists and researchers believe they can create solar cells that will reach 30-40 percent efficiency and beyond in the not-too-distant future.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Solar Panels Work

As more people become aware of the problems to the global environment with carbon fuel based electricity production clean alternatives such as solar panels are becoming ever more popular.

Solar panel is a term used to describe the devices used for the conversion of solar energy in to other forms of energy like electrical, heat or light. Furthermore, a solar panel can be described as a photovoltaic panel (PV) which is used in the professional solar power industry to generate electricity from the rays of the sun.

Photovoltaic where photo means light and voltaic means electricity, transforms sunlight directly into electricity. PV cells at work in simple mechanisms like watches and calculators. You’ve probably even seen them for signs on the road.

More complex PV systems produce solar electricity for houses and the utility grid. The utility grid is the power source available to your local electricity provider.

Most PV panels contain a top protective layer, two specially treated layers of silicon with collecting circuitry attached to the top layer and a polymer backing layer.

The top layer of silicon is treated to make it electrically negative and the back layer is treated it make it electrically positive. When sunlight knocks electrons loose from the silicon, electrons move up from the bottom layer of silicon and crowd the electrons in the top layer.

The electrons freed from the top layer are collected by electrical contacts on the surface of the top layer and routed through an external circuit, thus providing power to the electrical system attached to the panels.

One of the main problems with using solar panels is the small amount of electricity they generate compared to their size. A calculator might only require a single solar cell but a solar-powered car would require several thousand. If the angle of the solar panels is changed even slightly, the efficiency can drop 50 percent.

Solar panels are mainly used to exploit the potential of solar energy, which is rampant is availability and is cheap to use as no money need to be paid by anybody for the use of sunlight.

In the depleting conventional energy source day by day, solar energy is the right substitute for that. But we need to be cautious in keeping our environment and thereby the atmosphere clean and un-spoils.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy

In our continuing efforts to live a greener life we have been contemplating solar panels for our roof. Solar energy is one of the main sources of renewable energy. Apart from being free, its abundance and constant supply make it a great potential source of energy. Solar energy can be used for electricity, central heating, hot water, cooking, for producing salt and even for desalination.

Advantages of Solar Energy :

1 . It is renewable, clean energy and does not deplete any of Earth's resources

2 . It reduces greenhouse gas,cuts down on acid rain and omits no pollution

3 . No noise is created with solar power, unlike wind power, hydro and coal-fired electric plants

4 . Solar energy can be very efficient energy resource in a large area of the earth

5 . Solar power system require virtually no maintenance and can last for decades

6 . Solar energy systems are portable and adaptable

7 . Reduces the amount of fossil fuel burnt, and decreases greenhouse gas creation

Solar energy is less expensive than electric heating. That is another big advantage of solar energy. By just using solar energy you can save a lot of money on heaters. In return you will get lower electric bills and it also means that you don’t have to maintain heaters.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy :

1 . The biggest disadvantage of solar energy is the initial cost of solar cells. Some households may need more than one to generate enough power, making the initial installation of solar panels very costly

2 . Solar energy can only be used to generate electricity during daylight hours. This means that solar panels will not be producing energy for your home for one half of the day

3 . Need for a fair amount of sunlight to create enough energy

4 . In heavily polluted areas the amount of energy created by the sun will be reduced

5 . The weather can affect the productivity of solar cells

I truly believe that the world needs to make a large push to using renewable energy such as solar panels or wind turbines if we are going to be able to make our resources last.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How To Use The Solar Energy

The Sun produces energy through atomic fusion. Atmosphere reflects about 30% of the sun radiation and absorbs 20% of it. The remaining 50% reaches the Earth. Even so, this amount is 170 million times larger than the energy produced by the world's biggest power plants.

We know today, there are multiple uses of solar energy. We use the solar energy every day in many different ways. When we hang laundry outside to dry in the sun, we are using the solar heat to do work, drying our clothes. Plants use the solar light to make food. Animals eat plants for food. And as we learned, decaying plants hundreds of millions of years ago produced the coal, oil and natural gas that we use today.

In the modern solar oven, sun light is used for cooking, using a concave mirror that focus the sunlight on the food or pot. Other types of ovens use a system of flat mirrors for directing the sun rays to the food.

Many households use solar energy for heating the water. The sunlight warms up cold water passing through closed flat panels, called collectors. They function like reverse radiators, absorbing heat for warming up the water. Usually, they are mounted on the roof of the houses, under an angle that allows them as much as possible of the solar energy.

Below is some uses of solar energy :

1 . Heat your home through passive solar design or an active solar heating system

. Generate your own electricity

3 . Heat water in your home or swimming pool

4 . Light your home both indoors and outdoors

5 . Dry your clothes. Use a clothesline to reduce the energy consumed by your clothes dryer

Photovoltaic Systems are frequently the preferred solution for holiday homes, which have no access to the electricity grid. These solar systems are configured to meet power needs less expensively than extending the grid to reach your location.

Solar batteries are electronic devices that use the photoelectric phenomenon for producing power. A sole photocell generate a weak tension, that's why more cells must be bound in a series, so that the solar battery can be used as a source of energy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Is Solar Energy Important

Solar energy is very important for human survival. One is all the beings on earth depend on sunlight. Besides helping us to stay warm and enabling other organisms to survive, it is used in the commercial power production as well.

Solar energy is also essential for plant life as it is necessary for photosynthesis, the process through which plants generate energy and process nutrients for their growth by converting solar light for their own use by utilizing chloroplasts within their leaves and bodies.

Through this process, food is produced for other herbivores together with oxygen for us to breath and removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, allowing creatures such as ourselves to survive while maintaining a balanced world temperature.

Fossil fuels that we depend on today actually formed by prehistoric vegetation and dead organisms and living beings. Once we face an extinction of fossil fuels, the world will become severely handicapped for energy derivatives. However, fossil fuels are not a renewable source of energy and once used up, they cannot be replaced for millions years.

Advantages of using solar energy :

1 . It can ultimately be used anywhere at any time there is sunlight

2 . It is a free energy source; it is the quietest form of energy available

3 . It does not threaten plants or animals

4 . Solar energy is a renewable source of energy

Disadvantages of solar energy are minimal. The primary disadvantage is that the initial establishment of a solar-cell operation such as photovoltaic or solar thermal heat is quite expensive.

Solar energy is a good substitute to generate electricity. It is known as green power because it is environment friendly. There are no ill effects of using solar power as there are no emissions. Solar power can be used for basic purposes of running everyday household needs.

Solar energy may be able to drive the future of this world as the energy derived from it can be used to heat water, generate electricity, generate light, and power cars. Cars that run on petrol cause a lot of pollution and health hazards. Solar energy can actually make a change in the overall health of people as well as the global environment.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Solar Energy Works

Most people know that solar energy is produced by converting sunlight into electrical energy but many people are unfamiliar with just exactly how solar energy works. Our sun is a colossal source of energy that produces an enormous amount of energy. Much of this energy reaches the earth in the sun's rays.

Approximately eight minutes and ten seconds pass before the energy from the sun reaches the earth. The earth stores the energy from the sun in plant life, oceans, and our atmosphere. Winds are then formed between the energy from the sun and the places energy is stored. The winds can then produce electricity by using wind machines such as wind mills.

There are two forms of solar energy :

1 . Solar Thermal Conversion
Uses sunlight to create heat and electrical power.

If you would hold a magnifying glass flat under the sun and put your hand under it, you would need to move your hand away very quickly in order to avoid burning yourself.

Solar thermal conversion systems use mirrors or reflectors to concentrate sunlight onto containers full of liquid. Sometimes water is used. Sometimes other liquids are used, which retain heat better than water.

The liquids are heated up to high temperatures, and this produces steam. The steam is used to turn a turbine. The turning motion of the turbine is used to create electricity.

2 . Photovoltaic Conversion
Uses sheets of special materials to create electricity from the sun. "Photo-" means "light," and "voltaic" means "producing electricity."

A “cell” is a device that produces electricity. An example of an electrical cell is a flashlight battery. Photovoltaic cells produce electricity when they are exposed to light. They usually consist of panels. The panels contain two layers of different materials.

When light hits these two layers, one of the layers becomes positively charged, and the other becomes negatively charged. This works similarly to a regular flashlight battery, which has a positive end and a negative end. When a wire connects the two ends, they produce an electric current.

An advantage to solar power is that it can reduce expenses. It can also be portable. When one is backpacking in the wilderness or traveling far from power grids, solar power can provide a means of powering electronic equipment.

Another advantage is, of course, the lack of pollution created by solar energy production. In fact, if all of our electrical energy were produced by such means, we might not be worrying about global warming and the other destructive effects of pollution on our environment.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Is A Solar Energy

Solar energy is the energy that is produced by our sun. The Sun is a big ball of heat and light resulting from nuclear fusion at its core. The nuclear reaction releases energy that travels outward to the surface of the Sun. Along the way to the surface the energy transforms so that by the time it is released it is primarily light energy.

Our big friendly giant up there.It's a fact that all life depends on and comes from the sun. The production of oxygen and food would be impossible without solar energy. Farmers know the value of a large field with a plentiful supply of sunlight.

Energy from the sun is present in fossil fuels, stored in fossilised plant remains that once grew and absorbed the sun’s energy through photosynthesis. It is also directly experienced in the warmth of the sun and in its light.

Water can be heated actively or passively. Passive heating occurs simply when water, preheated by the sun, is used by a conventional water heater. Active heating occurs when a heating element inside a solar hot water system heats the water on sunny days.

There are many different methods of collecting the heat and converting it to electricity, and many ways of converting the light as well. One of the simplest ways that people use solar heat energy is by using greenhouses.

A greenhouse is built so that it can best collect the sunlight and heat that it receives from the sun. This heat is trapped inside the greenhouse by the roof and walls allowing plants to grow in an otherwise too cold climate.

Electricity From Solar Energy

Photovoltaic cells, commonly known as solar cells, are used to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into direct current electricity. This can be used in this form or be converted into alternating current, which is like the electricity that is available from the grid.

Solar energy also can be used for wind power, hydro power, and biomass power and of course the sun also will come to the end of its life eventually, in many millions of years time, making it a kind of non-renewable energy source.

As more and more people demand the use of free solar energy, governments as well as businesses are subsidizing researchers, and these combined efforts are meeting this demand by coming up with materials that can produce more and more energy from a given amount of sunlight.

Solar electricity produced by arrays of solar panels is now almost as cost effective as using petroleum, coal, and nuclear generated power.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Privacy Policy

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