Thursday, April 30, 2009

Solar Energy- Advantages and Disadvantages

Solar energy is the energy obtained from the sun in the form of either heat or light. Solar energy has a number of uses from which a lot of people can benefit. Solar energy is an inexhaustible energy source that can be used freely.

The advantages of solar energy are like it is a renewable source of energy whose supply will last till there is sun, is a non polluting source of energy; solar cells that work on solar energy are long lasting and require low maintenance, it is very easy to install devices that use solar energy for their operation, it does not adversely affect the eco-system, solar energy is a cost effective energy source available today and solar energy is widely available.

Solar energy has the following disadvantages like the solar energy devices and systems are very expensive, adequate sunshine must be ensured for exploring the full potential of solar energy, once a solar energy system is installed, repair and replacement for such systems are both labor intensive and expensive, many solar energy devices use cadmium which is highly toxic for the environment and solar energy cannot be obtained at night or during darkened days.

Solar energy is a viable energy source. However, it needs to be researched upon and explored in a better manner to reap maximum advantages. Environmentally sound, efficient and cost effective devices that use solar energy need to be developed. The use of better technologies is becoming necessary to overcome the disadvantages of solar energy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Solar energy companies

Solar energy is the energy available in the form of heat and light from the sun. However, to be of use, solar energy must be harnessed in a proper manner so that it can be used for a variety of applications. Solar power companies are the companies that are responsible for harnessing solar energy and making it available to consumers for end use.

Solar energy companies are rapidly increasing in number all over the world. The reason is that solar energy is the only source of energy that can meet the energy needs of every person on the earth for a very long time. The energy obtained from the sun is renewable and available in abundance. This energy will be available for as long as the sun keeps shining. Another reason for the development of a large number of solar energy companies is the fact that the reserves of oil that are currently meeting the energy requirements are depleting with each passing day. Therefore, a source of energy is required to replace oil. This source is the solar energy. Solar energy is also being trapped and used by companies because it is an eco friendly source of energy. The use of solar energy does not emit any harmful particles into the atmosphere that can be dangerous for health.

Solar energy companies offer various solar applications. These include pool heating, domestic hot water and solar electricity generation systems. These are available for use in both domestic and commercial applications.

Solar energy
companies promise a cleaner and greener world by the use of solar energy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Storage of solar energy

Solar energy is the renewable energy that can be obtained from the sun. In order to harness solar energy effectively, proper sunlight must be ensured. When there is proper sunlight, solar energy can be cost effectively used for several purposes. In case there is less sunlight or no sunlight at all, solar energy cannot be used. However, to utilize solar energy beneficially, it must be available at all times. But during night or on cloudy days, solar energy is not available. Therefore, it needs to be stored to fulfill the energy requirements at any given time.

There are several methods available for storing solar energy. Thermal mass systems are used to store solar energy in the form of heat for domestic uses for daily or seasonal durations. Solar energy can be stored at domestically useful temperatures in materials like paraffin wax and Glauber’s salt. These materials are easily available and less expensive.

Solar energy can be stored at high temperatures in molten salts. They can be used effectively to store solar energy at low costs and for use in conventional heating systems. Off grid solar photovoltaic systems use chargeable batteries to store excess electricity generated from solar energy. Pumped storage hydro electricity stores in the form of pumped water when solar energy is available. This stored energy is used to generate electricity during periods of high demand.

Storage of solar energy for future use is at present an expensive method. The costs of such technologies must be brought down so that more quantity of solar energy can be stored and harnessed.

Utilization of solar energy

Sun is the ultimate source of energy that has provided us with energy for billions of years and will continue to do so for many more years to come. The earth receives a fractional amount of solar energy but this minute quantity is sufficient enough to meet the energy requirements of the present day and also of the future. The solar energy can be used for many purposes.

On the basis of its use, solar energy can be divided into solar active (direct use) and solar passive (indirect use). Solar active category can be further classified into solar thermal and solar photovoltaic.

Solar thermal is used to collect and convert solar energy into heat energy. This thermal energy can be used for water and air heating. It can be used cooking, drying and in the distillation process. In solar thermal technology collectors are used to collect solar energy, a transferring medium that transfers heat and a heat storage tank. Solar thermal technologies are used in solar geysers, solar cookers etc.

Solar photovoltaic is used to convert the solar energy into electricity. The electricity so produced can be used for several purposes. The electricity produced by solar photovoltaic technology can either be directly used or can be utilized by storing in battery systems.

Solar passive technology of solar energy is usually used in buildings. Buildings are so constructed so as to maximize the amount of solar energy received. This solar energy can be used for purposes like lighting, air conditioning, water and space heating and cooling.

Thus, solar energy can be put to a vast number of uses.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why is solar energy the best energy solution?

The energy obtained from the sun is called solar energy. The solar energy received by the earth from the sun is almost 35000 times more than the amount of energy currently being produced on this planet. A part of this energy is reflected into the atmosphere by solar radiations but the rest gets absorbed. This absorbed solar energy can be harnessed and put to a number of uses like heating homes, lighting and running automobiles.

The reasons for solar energy being the best energy solution are varied. The first and the foremost reason is that solar energy is a renewable source and will be available for thousands and thousands of years. Solar energy is biodegradable and sustainable. When electricity is produced by using solar energy, no burning of fossil fuels is involved and so there is no emission of harmful particles or substances into the atmosphere which may be hazardous for the health. Solar energy also does not cause pollution and so does not degrade the environment in any way. The most important reason for solar energy being the best energy solution is the fact that it is freely available and can be used in a cost effective manner which is very important for the world economy which is already at an all time low because of the rising fuel prices.

The concept of using solar energy as an alternative energy source is not new. Solar energy has been used for a long time but not in a proper and efficient manner. The need of the hour is to utilize solar energy to its full potential.