The Sun is an unlimited source of energy that is far away from depletion. It has way more energy than what the entire earth needs. This energy when harnessed is the future of electricity generation.
What is solar power?
The Sun’s energy when used to generate electricity is called solar power. You must have seen a small solar panel or photovoltaic cell on many devices like pocket calculators etc. This cell helps the device to function without any other source of energy or electricity as it uses the energy from any light source and converts it into electricity used to power calculators.
Why solar energy?
Solar energy, unlike other non-renewable sources of energy, will never exhaust. Therefore, it will always be available in abundance.
It is cost-effective- there is just the initial installation investment and the rest is cost-efficient since there is no fuel that is required. This helps you save a lot on your electricity bills.
It is environment friendly- since there is no fuel involved in the generation of electricity, solar energy is clean and does not add on to harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
How does it work?
There are two technologies of solar power generation:
- Solar Photovoltaic (or Solar PV) converts sunlight directly into electricity using a photovoltaic cell or a semiconductor. Solar power systems consist of solar panels and inverters. During the day, these solar panels collect solar energy and convert it into Direct Current(DC). This Direct current is converted to Alternating Current (AC) by solar inverters to be used by the households. It could also be stored in batteries for later use when it’s either dark or cloudy.
- Solar thermal converts the energy from sunlight to heat energy also known as thermal energy. This can be used for a variety of purposes like heating water or for electricity generation using steam turbines. Solar thermal energy is largely used for extensive power generation.