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Solar energy is harnessing the sun’s energy by converting it into electricity. It is a form of renewable energy source invented about 100 years ago. Previously, solar energy was employed to generate streams that powered machines. Because of technological breakthroughs, solar energy is becoming more effective, economical, and available to people worldwide. In this article, We shall discuss the five primary types of solar energy & their uses.
Source : LL28
Solar energy is directly transformed into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) cells. Initially used in space, photovoltaic cells were eventually integrated into everyday objects like watches and calculators. With the emergence of solar communities and a society conscious of energy conservation and sustainability, photovoltaic solar energy has significantly increased in popularity in recent years. Groups of photovoltaic cells stacked between silicon layers make photovoltaic panels, which collect solar radiation and convert the light’s photons into electrons to produce electricity.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) produces energy where mirrors are used to reflect sunlight. Using a mirror to focus and concentrate the reflected sunlight into a particular area is the working principle of CSP. After that, this concentrated sunlight is turned into heat. The heat then produces steam to power a turbine to produce electricity. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that CSP generation rose 34% in 2019. Even if this growth is exponential, CSP still has a ways to go before it achieves its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call for average growth of 24% through 2030.
Solar water heating systems utilize the sun’s thermal energy to heat water in residences and commercial buildings. Any climate may benefit from installing solar energy for heating water, saving utility costs. The system’s three primary components are the solar collector, insulated pipe, and hot water storage tank. Water heating systems may be divided into two categories: active systems and passive systems. While passive systems rely on thermodynamics to move water, active systems can use electric pumps. Active solar water heating systems are becoming prevalent in home and business settings. Systems for passive solar water heating are often less costly but less effective.
Solar pool heating is one of the most economical uses of solar energy. Most swimming pools require pool heating to raise the water’s temperature in the spring and autumn or to assist in keeping the temperature steady during the summer when the pool is most frequently utilized. Non-concentrating solar flat plate collectors are most effective in providing low-temperature heat for recreational and garden swimming pools.
Solar thermal technologies were the first solar energy products to be commercialized in the UK. They convert sunlight into heat rather than electricity. Since heat waves transport more energy than sunlight and there is no conversion into electricity, they are more efficient than PV panels. They have an energy storage mechanism and function in cold areas, cloudy days, and high winds.
In conclusion, because of technological breakthroughs, solar energy is becoming more effective, economical, and available to people worldwide. With the five given types of solar energy, you can choose the one that is more suitable and convenient to your power supply needs.