- Green Technology
You Can Tap an Endless Source of Energy by Using Solar Panels
Planet Earth has resources that are limited in their availability as they get continuously used up, and this has led to mankind considering other sources of renewable energy. Solar energy is one such source that has always been around for giving heat, but now technologies have been developed that allow the conversion of this energy into electricity.
Uses of Energy From the sun
This conversion makes for energy that can be used by mankind and is made possible by the mechanical devices called solar panels that enable the light and heat from the sun to be converted. Panels can be used for transferring the heat from the sun to liquids and water, which then can find further use as hot water, to heat living spaces in homes and to heat swimming pools. The simple flat surfaces of these panels are arranged so that they can collect heat and then transfer it as required. These solar panels can also be designed to concentrate the heat to produce extreme heat that can be used for cooking.
Converting Solar Energy to Electricity
Photovoltaic devices have the capacity to convert the light from the sun into electricity, and when these are mounted on solar panels in arrays they can produce the power that modern day living constantly requires. These devices, which are photovoltaic, use silica that is very highly refined. The raw material that is required for this is very easy to obtain, but to make it into the required purity requires a great deal of costly energy, and has been the single factor that has prevented the greater use of electricity produced from solar energy. The conversion efficiency ratio is also very low, and its improvement is a subject of constant research
Using the Electricity Produced
Most of the electrical devices that we use need alternating current, and as the electricity produced through the photovoltaic units on solar panels is of the direct kind, this needs to be converted. This conversion is possible through the use of inverters. The panels can work only in the day when the sun is shining, and this requires for the power generated to be stored so that it can be used at night. You will get the maximum advantage of the energy from the sun if the solar panels have the correct orientation. This positioning is all the more important for panels that are used as thermal devices that use the sun's heat to complete any required process.
Solar panels have no moving parts, and this allows them to make an endless use of the sun and its energy that is renewable and free. Capital costs can be quite prohibitive and constant efforts are needed to reduce them. The correct orientation of the panels also allows for taking full advantage of the sun's rays.