In order to comprehend the full potential and range of applications of this abundant energy supply, everyone need learn a few basic solar energy facts. In terms of alternative energy sources, solar electricity is the most environmentally benign and desirable of them all. A typical year’s global energy consumption is around 550 exajoules (523 quadrillion BTUs). Earth receives roughly 3,850,000 exajoules of energy from the sun’s rays each year in the form of radiation. It’s easy to see why the solar energy sector is working so hard to enhance its systems for harvesting solar power once this is considered. For the Desertec foundation, covering just one percent of the world’s deserts with solar PV panels may provide enough electricity to run the entire planet.
The following is a quick history lesson on solar energy’s long and illustrious past:
When it comes to the utilization of solar electricity, humankind has been using it since the dawn of time.
He was one of the first modern philosophers to think about using solar energy for industrial purposes to heat water.
Edmond Becquerel, a French chemist and inventor, discovered the photovoltaic phenomenon in 1839 while testing electrolytic cells.
First solar-powered water heater was invented by Clarence Kemp in 1894, and he received a patent.
Frank Shuman created the world’s first solar thermal power station in 1913.
For the station’s 65-horsepower engine, parabolic trough-shaped mirrors were used to heat water in boilers. It pumped roughly 6,000 gallons of water per minute from the Nile River to the farms surrounding the engine.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells were invented in 1954 at Bell Laboratories.
Facts about solar energy that are a bit more technical include the following:
There are two types of solar devices: active and passive. Photovoltaic cells are used in active solar power systems, whereas thermal energy is used in passive ones.
Photovoltaic systems, which use solar cells in modules to convert light into electrical energy, are currently the most common form of energy conversion.
As a result of their high specific heat energy, thermal solar power systems sometimes use molten salts to store solar energy at extremely high temperatures.
– According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power technologies such as photovoltaic panels, water heaters, and solar electrical power stations will generate around 33% of global power consumption by the year 2060.
– The Nokia 1610 plus was in reality the first commercially available solar-powered cell phone from the Finnish manufacturer, which was launched in 1997.
The following is a comprehensive list of significant solar power plants across the world:
The Mojave Desert in California is home to the Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) complex, which consists of nine separate power plants. SEGS continues to hold the title of largest solar power station in the world, with a combined output of 354 megawatts.
– Photovoltaic cells are the most commonly used electric power generating technology in major solar power facilities because they are currently more cost-effective when used on a large scale. Sarnia, Canada, is home to the world’s largest photovoltaic power plant, which generates 97 megawatts of power.
There are only two other solar power plants larger than Spain’s Andasol, which generates 250 MW of electricity.
Scheffler reflector systems in Rajasthan, India are capable of cooking up to 35,000 meals a day. –
In Germany, the Waldpolenz Solar Park is the world’s largest thin-film photovoltaic power system.
For example, the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm, which is currently under construction, will be one of the largest solar photovoltaic power plants in the world when it is completed.
The following are some facts concerning solar flight:
It was in 1975 that the Astro Flight – Sunrise, a solar-powered unmanned aircraft, was constructed.
– In 1980, the Gossamer Penguin was the first plane powered solely by solar cells that could transport a human.
Solar PV panels on Helios’s wings help it to maintain its altitude record of 96,863 feet and its world record for prolonged, horizontal flight by an aeroplane with wings.
First solar-powered satellite: Vanguard 1, an American satellite launched in 1958. In 2008, the satellite marked its 50th year of orbiting the Earth.
Solar sail technology was successfully demonstrated for the first time in space by IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation from the Sun). The spacecraft was launched in 2010 by a Japanese H-IIA rocket.
A greater emphasis has been placed on the development of renewable energy sources as a result of the ongoing volatility of oil prices and the increased awareness of the general public regarding environmental issues. Because of the increased demand for non-fossil fuel electrical power, solar panels and other renewable energy options will certainly become less expensive. As a result of the requirement for firms to look environmentally conscientious, energy giants such as BP and General Electric have made considerable advertising initiatives, highlighting their investments in renewable sources of power. “Green” energy sources like solar electricity have become more affordable for many people because of the rise in the cost of coal, gas, and oil, which has pushed the cost of energy up for many people. Over the last 15 years, the demand for solar energy has grown 30% annually. Over the course of 2009, photovoltaic solar panel installations grew by 20 percent compared to the previous year, totaling more than 7.3GW. The photovoltaic solar sector made $38.5 billion in profits in 2009.
It’s clear why solar electricity is so appealing. It has an almost endless supply of energy. Greenhouse gas emissions, which are often linked to climate change, are not present in this area. Air conditioning units in developed countries utilize a large quantity of electrical power, therefore it generates more electricity when you need it most. Solar power systems may last for 30 years or more, requiring only minimal upkeep or management once they’ve been installed. Photovoltaic solar modules have a low efficiency, which is exacerbated by the requirement to convert DC current from the solar power cells into AC current, which further reduces the efficiency. Aside from weather and time of day, solar power relies heavily on battery storage or other devices to supplement inadequate power supply. In general, the advantages of solar energy far exceed the disadvantages. These encouraging statistics demonstrate the critical shift toward more reliance on solar energy, which will undoubtedly result in a more wealthy and healthy planet for future generations.