The sun does more for the planet than just providing light and warmth. Sunlight particles or photons contain energy that fuels our world. Solar power of energy is the ultimate source responsible for all weather systems and energy sources on earth.
The sun is like any other star in the galaxy, it is a nuclear reactor. In the sun’s core, nuclear fusion produces large amounts of energy that radiate outwards from the sun’s surface and into space in the form of heat and light.
Solar power is tapped and converted to usable energy using solar thermal collectors or photovoltaics. Even though solar energy accounts for a small amount of overall global energy use, the every-decreasing cost of installing solar panels shows that more people will start taking advantage of solar energy.
Solar energy is a renewable and clean energy source that will eventually play a significant role in the global energy future.
Harnessing Solar Energy
There are many ways to use energy from the sun, but the two main methods are photovoltaics and solar thermal capture. Photovoltaics are much more common form small-scale electrical projects such as residential solar panel installations.
On the other hand, solar thermal capture is typical and only used for large-scale electricity production in utility solar installations. Besides producing electricity, lower temperature variations of solar thermal projects can be used for cooling and heating.
- Photovoltaic solar energy
One of the most common ways that people harness solar energy is with a photovoltaic solar system or PV system. A solar PV system allows solar panels to convert sunlight directly into electricity that can be used immediately, sent to the electric grid for credits on your electric bills, and even stored in a solar battery.
Solar panels convert solar energy into usable electricity through a process known as the photovoltaic effect. This power can be captured at many scales using photovoltaics; therefore, installing solar panels is smart to save money on your electrical bill. It also reduces your dependence on nonrenewable energy.
- Solar Thermal
The second way to use solar energy is to directly capture the heat from solar radiation and use it in different ways. Solar thermal energy has a broader range of uses than the PV system, and that is why using it on a small scale is not as practical as using photovoltaics.
There are three main types of solar thermal energy; low temperature used for cooling and heating, mid-temperature that is used for heating water, and high-temperature used for electrical power generation.
Solar Energy; the Future
By installing solar panels on your residence, you will have found a smart way to save money on your electrical bill. It also reduces your dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuels. Large companies can also benefit from solar energy generation that can power their operations or supply energy to the grid. With fossil fuels becoming more expensive, harmful to the environment, and less dependable, solar energy is the future. It is clean, renewable, and just what the planet needs.