we all know that the sun shining above us is providing us heat and light to survive. Without this massive ball of fire, Earth would not be in the form as it is today and there would be no life existence on the planet. But we often ignore the fact that the sun is also a massive ball of energy – providing the Solar energy. Technically speaking, the heat energy (thermal energy) and the light energy (energy from photon) from the sun can be converted into electricity, which can be effectively utilized to meet the energy needs of people. Solar power has become the buzzword for the past two decades. Ever since the industrialization set in, the human need for electricity increased and people started moving in search of new sources of electricity generation especially renewable energy.
Solar energy is one of the widely used sources of renewable energy. The solar energy received from the sun is everlasting, abundant and hence categorized as the renewable form of energy and it never gets exhausted unlike the fossil fuels. Solar power or solar energy is available in two different forms from which electricity is generated through innovative technologies. Solar power is also almost pollution free. So, Solar energy is also considered as a clean and green energy source and currently emerging as an attractive energy alternative.
How does solar energy work?
Now, let us dive into the science of solar energy (solar power). Solar energy consists of two forms of energy – the heat and the light. But solar energy cannot be directly used as an alternative form of energy. It has to be converted into electricity before use. First, let us see how the solar thermal energy also known as heat energy works. The heat energy from the sun is converted to thermal energy using the solar thermal collectors, which is then used to generate electricity. The solar thermal collectors have liquids or gases that are exposed to the solar thermal energy. As these substances inside the solar thermal collectors get heated, the temperature and pressure increase. This high pressure, high temperature is used to drive turbines to generate electricity.
“Make use of the free and infinite power source – the Sun. Solar energy is the future of all energy alternatives. ”
Second is the solar photovoltaic, which is the energy derived from the photons of the sun’s rays. This is the most widely used, cost effective and convenient mode to generate electricity from solar energy. Solar panels are used here. Solar panels are the devices that are made up of many silicon cells called the solar cells. The silicon in the solar cell is the semi – conductor element. The solar light photon falls on the solar panel mounted on the rooftops. This photon causes the movement of electrons in the valance cell of the silicon atom.
As the cells are bound together in the solar panel, the electron flows through the panel. This continuous movement of electrons produces electricity from the solar panel. When a greater number of such solar panels are connected together to form a solar power module, it generates electricity in large amounts. This electricity generated from solar panels is DC. An inverter is used to convert the DC power into AC power for its direct use. Thus, the solar energy from the solar panels is used to power homes, commercial buildings, industries etc. To know more on solar power and solar panels browse through our other popular blog articles.