First of all what is the need of alternate energy like solar energy? We humans consume energy in the form of food, clothing, entertainment, transportation e.t.c. Due to improved lifestyle of humans, industrial and Cultural Revolution energy demand has rose to peaks which leads to the search of new sources of energy. The sources of energy available for use by mankind are commonly divided into two categories
a) Renewable energy sources also termed as energy income i.e. renewable energy sources sources of energy are more or less continuously refreshed by nature and are considered to be available at potentially their current levels irrespective of time at least for large amount of time. Examples of renewable energy sources are Hydro power, Wind power, solar energy e.t.c
b) Non renewable energy sources also termed as energy capital i.e., Non renewable energy sources of energy cannot be replenished on any time scale less than millions of years. Examples of non renewable sources of energy are Fossil fuels, Coal, Nuclear fuel (Fission material such as uranium) e.t.c.
Conventional Sources of Energy
All the natural resources like petroleum, natural gas, coal are limited and will get exhausted with time. In addition to that these are not renewable. As scarcity increases price increases drastically. Usage of other sources of energy like nuclear energy due to fission of uranium is not certain due to scare of radioactivity. The growth of Geo thermal energy is not promising. The Fusion energy extraction is still in the amateur stage. Hence solar energy gained importance and much research is pointed towards it to make it a cheaper and efficient source of energy.
Solar Energy Definition
The Energy derived from the sun radiation and converted in to electrical energy, this energy is called as solar energy. The Light radiation energy is injected on the solar panels which breaks the covalent bonds and produces the free electrons. This flow of free electrons can be used to drive the electrical load or it can be stored in solar batteries.
Importance of Solar energy
There may be varieties of forms in which we consume energy such as electrical energy, heat energy, mechanical energy e.t.c yet virtually all of the energy originates from the power of atom. Nuclear fusion reactions such as fusing of two hydrogen atoms to produce helium are energizing the stars including our sun. A tremendous amount of energy is released in the form of heat and light energy from these nuclear reactions. The cosmic energy we capture on earth comes largely from the sun or from nuclear forces local to our planet.
Sunlight is by far the predominant source, and it contains a surprisingly large amount of solar energy.
For every one hour the earth receives 173*1012 kWh or 173 peta watts of solar energy from the sun. We can intercept this solar energy and can be used for our own purposes.
Solar energy radiation reaches Earth with more than enough energy in a single square meter to illuminate five 60-watt light bulbs if all the sunlight could be captured and converted to electricity.
The fact that the temperatures vary from one point to another on the earth can be utilized to provide power. The temperature differences are the driving force behind winds, waves, ocean currents. The resulting air currents drive wind turbines.
Solar energy is alo important in evaporating the water that falls as rain and builds up behind dams, where its motion is used to generate electricity via hydropower. Also the energy stored in the plants through photo synthesis can be utilized by burning wood, which breaks the bonds and releases energy as heat and light.
More often, though, we use the stored energy in the much more concentrated forms that result when organic matter, after millions of years of geological and chemical activity underground, turns into fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, or natural gas. Either way, we’re reclaiming the power of sunlight.
The Solar light energy given away by sun can be converted directly into usable form of energy such as electrical energy, thermal energy e.t.c. using transducers such as solar cells. Because solar energy is free of pollution, available in abundance and throughout the world, it is a highly interesting source of energy for everyone. In the next few years it is expected that millions of households in the world will be using solar energy .Solar Technology is the one fastest growing technologies in the 20th century.