Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pros and cons of solar power

The energy obtained from the sun is called renewable solar energy that can be used to generate solar power. Solar power as an alternative power source has the ability to meet the energy needs of the entire planet for a very long time.

Solar power is a renewable energy source and will be readily available for a long time. The devices like solar cells; solar panels etc. that use work on solar power generated from solar renewable energy do not cause any noise pollution. It is a non- polluting source of energy. The solar power systems or devices manufactured by renewable energy companies require very less maintenance. These devices and products are also very easy to install and use. Solar power does not harm the environment and is said to be a green renewable energy source. By using solar power, electricity needs of a number of far flung and rural areas can be met.

There are some disadvantages of using this alternative power source. It is not available at night and therefore needs to be collected in alternative energy stores so that it can be used. Creating alternative energy stores may be expensive. The devices that are powered by solar power are very expensive. In periods of less sunlight and cloudy skies, this renewable energy source becomes unreliable as it cannot be properly used.

The advantages of this alternative power resource outnumber its disadvantages and therefore the use of solar power is increasing with each passing day and it is becoming more and more popular.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Solar Energy

We know that the sun is the ultimate source of energy. Sun has produced energy for billion of years and is likely to continue doing the same for a similar length of time. It provides energy in the form of heat and light. It provides food energy to all forms of life and is also responsible for wind energy and the energy of fossil fuels.

Solar energy can be harnessed in two ways. Solar energy can be harnessed as thermal energy also known as heat energy. Solar energy can be harnessed in the form of light energy.

In both cases, solar energy can be put to various uses. Solar energy accounts for most of the renewable energy available on the earth. However, only a small fraction of solar energy is being put to use.

About 30% of the solar radiations received by the earth are reflected back into the atmosphere causing a rise in the temperature. The air heated by the solar energy rises in the form of water vapors. At high altitudes where temperature is low, the water vapor condenses and falls as rain on the earth to complete the water cycle. The solar energy is converted to chemical energy which produces food in plants by the process of photosynthesis. The solar energy when converted to chemical energy also produces biomass from which fossil fuels are derived.

The unlimited solar energy from the sun is freely available on the earth. It can be tapped in a cost effective manner to give the maximum output.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pros and cons of solar power

The energy obtained from the sun is called solar power that can meet the energy needs of the entire planet for a very long time if it is properly harnessed.

Solar power is a renewable source of energy and devices like solar cells; solar panels etc. that use solar power do not cause any noise pollution. It is a non- polluting source of energy and solar power systems or devices require very less maintenance. Solar powered devices and products are very easy to install and use. It is an environment friendly source of energy. With the help of solar power and devices like solar panels, it is possible to generate electricity in areas where there is less exposure to the sun. It is freely and easily available.

There are some disadvantages as well. It cannot be obtained at night and therefore needs to be collected and stored for use. The storage of solar power maybe expensive. The devices that can work on solar power are very expensive. Solar power can be an unreliable source of energy at certain times when there is less sunlight or during cloudy days.

The advantages of solar power outnumber its disadvantages and therefore there is a shift from using other sources of energy to the use of solar power. With the rising prices of fuel, natural gas and coal, solar power offers the best possible alternative for meeting the energy requirements across the globe.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Solar power thermal plants

A solar thermal power plant uses solar energy to heat a fluid and turn it into steam. The steam is then converted to mechanical energy to run a turbine. The turbines are connected to generators. The running turbines power the generators to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy. There are mainly three types of solar power thermal plants- parabolic troughs, solar dish and solar power tower.

A parabolic trough collector has a linear parabolic shape reflector that focuses the sun’s rays on a linear receiver located at the focus of the parabola. A working fluid is heated as it passes through several heat exchangers and is finally converted to steam. The steam is used to run a conventional turbine and generator to produce electricity. These plants are so designed that they operate only on solar energy.

Solar dish- The solar dish uses concentrating solar collectors to concentrate the sun’s energy at the focal point of the dish. The power generation equipment is mounted in the focal point of the solar dish. The engine in a solar dish is used to convert the heat energy of the sun into mechanical energy that heats the fluid which passes through a turbine to run an electric generator that converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Solar power tower- It converts the solar energy into electricity by concentrating all the sunlight on a heat exchanger mounted on a tower. A solar power tower uses a number of heliostats that reflect and focus the sunlight onto the tower.

The use of solar power thermal plants is becoming very popular for electricity generation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to use solar energy

The sun continuously produces a large amount of energy called solar energy. The solar energy is produced in the sun by the process of atomic fusion. This solar energy can be captured and used for different purposes, both commercial and domestic.

Solar energy is used in various devices that absorb solar energy and then use it for various purposes. Solar energy can be used in devices in several ways. In a solar oven, solar energy is used for cooking. This type of an oven has a concave mirror that is used to reflect the sun’s energy onto the food that has to be cooked. Solar collectors use solar energy to heat water. These devices are mounted on roof tops at places where there is sufficient sunlight. The collectors absorb solar energy and this energy heats up water. Solar batteries use solar energy to produce power. They use photocells that absorb solar energy to produce power. Solar furnaces are covered with mirrors on all sides to form a huge concave mirror. The solar energy reflected by the concave mirror is used for heating purposes. Solar panels are used in remote places to supply power. They absorb solar energy and convert it to electrical energy through a series of chemical steps.

Solar energy can also be used to meet the electricity needs of industries. Solar energy is also used to meet the heating, lighting and water pumping needs of developing countries.

Solar energy is so widely used because it is readily available, reliable and the devices using solar energy are easy to maintain.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Passive solar energy

Solar energy is an environmental friendly renewable source of energy that can be used for several purposes. Passive solar energy is an important source of energy for buildings. Passive solar techniques use a steady supply of solar energy through properly designed buildings and the orientation of windows. The term passive is applied to indicate that no additional mechanical equipment is required to supply solar energy or use it for any purpose.

Passive solar energy is basically used for heating and cooling buildings.

Passive solar heating occurs when the solar energy passes through a window, hits an object and gets absorbed. This absorbed solar energy gets converted to heat. Once the heat is available, well insulated and air tight buildings prevent its loss and keep the buildings warm. The heat can be distributed to be used for several purposes through various techniques.

Solar passive cooling can be used to reduce the air conditioning needs of buildings by a significant margin. Buildings requiring passive solar cooling are well designed with shading devices or specially glazed windows. These reduce the amount of solar radiations and heat from solar energy that reaches the buildings. The amount of solar radiations can also be reduced by generating air flows through convection ventilators.

All passive solar techniques use building elements like walls, windows, floors, roofs and landscaping to control the heat generated by solar radiations.

Passive solar energy has a number of advantages. These include simplicity and cost effectiveness. Also this is an efficient means of using solar energy. With passive solar energy, buildings can be designed elegantly and with the optimum utilization of building material.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Solar power

Solar power has been enlisted as significantly advantageous over other traditional energy sources as it saves our money greatly by cutting our heavily charged electric bills. Its practical use has been increasing day by day because now-a-days, people are becoming more aware about newest renewable energy resources to augment their economical circumstances and lifestyle as well. Though, the use of solar energy is limited by the sunlight, but even if some electricity can be generated in cloudy situations.

There is no need to worry about the position of sun, you will get inexhaustible source of energy without any interruption in supply. Also solar power does not emit any harmful radiation while generating electricity, thus is friendlier to our environment. No more, there is any need to hang over dangling wires, solar power retains the capability of flexibility. Solar panels can be easily mounted on our rooftops, while for lightening garden smaller solar cells can be put into use.

The best advantage of solar power can be utilized in remote areas where it becomes impossible to connect with mains power. Also the installation of solar panels is relatively inexpensive.

Solar power has extended its applications in several fields, almost in every perspective of life whether it is cooking in kitchen or is evaporation of salt from pond. Now-a-days, solar energy has been also utilized for designing mobile phones. For making it a transportable and storable fuel, it also controls several chemical reactions. Solar power has been also utilized in some vehicles for auxiliary power like for reduction in fuel consumptions and also in air conditioning to keep the interior of vehicle cool.