Solar Power: Being Environment Friendly
The issue of global warming is gaining wide acceptance with more and more countries making the endeavor to delay the catastrophic effects of this phenomenon. Today, scientists and environmentalists are offering people, across the world, alternatives that can be used in their everyday life.
Using solar power or the power of the sun’s heat is one such attempt. Solar energy is considered to be one of the most powerful forms of all energies on earth. It is derived from the sun, which has been producing energy for billions of years. Solar energy reaches the earth in the form of solar radiation and is converted directly or indirectly into various forms of energy like electricity and heat.
In spite of it being one of the primary sources of energy, solar energy has some drawbacks. They are:
1. The irregular and variable manner of its reaching the earth’s surface
2. There is a need for a large area to collect it
Solar energy can be used for multiple purposes from heating water for use at homes to drying agricultural products and even generating electrical energy.
Trivia: British astronomer John Herschel used a solar collector box on his expedition to Africa to cook food in the 1830’s.
Some of the advantages of using solar power or energy are:
* Solar power is a renewable resource and it will take another billion years for the sun to disintegrate if ever it does. As a result, solar energy will be able to provide us with enough power to carry day-to-day operations like electricity for homes, cooking etc and can be used for commercial applications as well.
* One of the biggest advantages is that solar power is non-polluting. As compared to any other energy resource like oil or coal, solar power will not emit greenhouse gases into the air and hence is considered environmentally friendly.
* Solar power is for free. As compared to oil or coal, which you have to buy, using solar power will cost you much less or almost zero in the long run. Initially you might have to invest a little on the solar panels or cells. The maintenance of solar cells or panels is zero. Apart from this, the life of the solar cells is much longer and comes with a lifetime warranty. You can use solar cells to heat water or even drive a car. The solar cells can convert light into electricity and are often known as photo-voltaic cells.
But today, things are different and the situation at hand is grim. You can use solar energy for various purposes. Some of the uses of solar energy by organizations and individuals are as follows:
1. Companies are trying to implement photo-voltaics in electric utilities. Photovoltaic is a process through which solar energy can be converted into electricity directly.
2. Electricity can also be produced directly from steam generators using solar thermal collectors that can heat working fluid.
3. There are many companies globally who have started to implement Solar PV modules, which can easily be retrofitted into existing roofs. Solar PV modules can be connected to a buildings grid supply for generating electricity, which can be used by offices on the premises.
Photovoltaic energy can convert sunlight into electricity by using photovoltaic (PVs) cells. These cells are commonly known as solar cells. Photovoltaic cells are non-mechanical devices that are made primarily from silicon alloys.
Sunlight is basically composed of millions of different particles of solar energy also known as photons. Each photon contains a different degree of energy that corresponds to different wavelengths within the solar spectrum.
When a photon strikes a photovoltaic cell, they will either get absorbed, reflected, or pass right through. The photons which get absorbed can provide enough energy to generate electricity. When the required amount of energy gets absorbed by a semiconductor, then the electrons get dislodged from their material atoms.
Photovoltaic cells are being increasingly used in driving solar powered products. Here are some of them:
* These chargers can charge some of the most powerful electronic devices like mp3 players, cell phones and digital cameras.
* Some of the top companies of the world use them for their electronic devices like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Palm/Treo.
* These chargers consist of folding solar panels of different outputs like 6.5 watt, 12 watt and 25 watt.
* They are made with high efficiency solar cells that are compact and light in weight.
* These chargers powered with solar cells can recharge lanterns, flash lights, cell phones, satellite phones, GPS units, MP3 players and many others.
* The solar modules are mostly he mono-crystalline silicon and are composed of composed of solar cells that have an average conversion efficiency of 15% or more and comes with solar glass and Tedlar (TPT) back sheet and EVA sheet compounded from fluoric-plastic and dacron.
Solar Power Radio & Crank Flashlight
* Multi-function solar radio features and can work on MW/FM/SW1/SW2 MW: 530-1600KHZ/FM: 88-108 MHZ/SW1: 3.8-10 MHZ/SW2: 11-17 MHZ
* The solar radio works on built-in single solar cell