Why Can’t We Harness the Full Potential of Solar Energy?
Potential of Solar Energy
Why such a question didn’t arise in anyone’s mind to date? Why is the energy, which is lying around and getting wasted, instead of harnessing it efficiently? How a large amount of the energy given by the sun is overlooked and finally wasted?
There is not a single reason but in fact, there are many that solar energy is getting wasted but one of the reasons for the wastage is the sunlight which one gets is so lightly degenerate from corner to corner of the earth that one can hardly manage to bind it.
So in order to really harness solar energy, one must have the potential to change, concentrate and collect the sun’s energy. Although it seems very simple and easy, the fact is that it is not so. Until now, we have only been able to discover three partially successful ways of harnessing solar energy. The three methods are as below
The Reflection Method – Mirrors / Parabola
The first method of collecting solar energy is the reflection method. This technique makes use of mirrors, which help with the concentration of the sun’s rays, which can thus be used for our needs. The mirror, which can be used here, is a parabolic one. It is basically an antenna that is disc-shaped, which helps in capturing the sun’s rays and concentrates at a focal point.
The radiation method
The radiation method is one of the principles behind the water heaters, which are solar. This solar water heater has pipes that are black in color and sandwiched in mid of two layers of glass. The water is present inside these heaters, which gets heated up due to the heat rays from the sun.
One of the latest inventions, which help in collecting solar energy, is the ’solar cell’. The solar cell, basically, consists of treated silicon crystals. These crystals, when attacked by the sunrays, force the electrons to come out of their orbits. Henceforth, an emptiness is created, which very soon needs to be taken up by electrons coming not from the same orbit or silicon crystals. This ultimately leads to the unevenness of electrons. Thus, current flow takes place, which can at once be used or can be even be utilized for the rechargeable battery.
Pros and Cons of Solar Energy
Crisis in the natural resources of energy like fossil fuel, coal, and natural gas has compelled mankind to be curious about alternative power resources like wind and hydro energy. However, the most effective among all renewable power resources has been solar energy, which has a huge supply of required energy content. Solar energy is mostly used for domestic purposes. It can be utilized to generate electricity, heating water, cooking and even for the process of distillation.
The main advantage of using solar energy is that it is clean and environment friendly. The sun rays penetrating the earth’s atmosphere can be effectively utilized to draw solar energy. In fact, such huge storage of energy can easily be utilized to compensate for the requirement of other natural resources like oil and coal.
Solar energy is cheaper than electricity expenses as it is naturally available. If an arrangement can be made to trap the energy and store it, it can also be used for future purposes. Solar panels are designed for this purpose to confine solar energy in the form of electricity. There are a number of solar-driven devices available in the market like water heaters, solar cookers, solar light which can easily fulfill your small requirement and thus reduce our expenses naturally without any recurring cost.
If you live in rural areas where power electricity lines are not easily available or have trouble with power cuts or failures, you can easily opt for solar energy systems to satisfy the crisis of power shortage. It can be a great alternative power resource for every energy purpose.
When there is a scarcity of drinking water, there is distillation required to disinfect the water from harmful minerals and germs. In arsenic and iron-borne areas, a distillation of water is almost compulsory. Solar energy can be well utilized in these areas for achieving distillation.
Although being a great source of alternative power, there are few drawbacks to using solar energy. The main problem with this energy source is that the energy packets are very scattered and the energy rays are not concentrated. This requires a lot of area for absorption of power and a number of solar panels to be installed.
Establishing a natural power resource like the solar energy system can be quite costly and may be difficult to afford for many. Although the government is providing aids, it is still not well distributed to help all. There are places where solar energy cannot reach easily due to the solstice effects of the tilt of the earth. This prevents the usage of solar energy as sun rays are the primary requirement for collecting solar energy.
The Sun and Solar Energy
At Energy solar Blog we often talk about solar power, but not about the main component of solar energy – the Sun! So here are some interesting facts about the star that turns our solar system, that will hopefully help you better understand this wonderful source of clean energy.
- The Earth could fit inside of the Sun one million times.
- Sunlight takes 8.3 minutes to reach the earth’s outer atmosphere. The sun could disappear and we would still receive sunlight for 8 minutes before darkness hit
- Enough sunlight strikes the Earth to provide the entire planet’s energy needs for one year in the space of a single hour
- Fossil Fuel is a form of stored solar energy. Biomass that formerly used Solar energy has been changed into fuel by the earth’s geologic activity
- About 50% of that sunlight reaches the earth and is absorbed by its surface. Approximately 30% of the sunlight is reflected back by the earth’s surface
- About 1,366 watts per square meter of energy reach the earth’s atmosphere. Depending on the part of the world you live in, about 1,000 watts per square meter reaches the ground per hour
- The Sun is a Star!
Hopefully, this calm any concerns that you may have about using solar panels or solar energy – the Sun produces more than enough energy, we just have to utilize it.