Solar Energy Technologies
The Solar Potential
There is more than enough solar radiation available around the world to satisfy the demand for solar power systems. The proportion of the sun’s
rays that reaches the earth.s surface can easily satisfy global energy consumption ten thousand times over. On average, each square meter of land is exposed to enopugh sunlight to recieve 1,700 kWh of energy.
What is photovoltaic energy?
Photovoltaic is the marriage of two words: 'photo', meaning light, and 'voltaic', meaning electricity. Photovoltaic technology, the term used to describe the hardware that converts solar energy into usable power,generates electricity from light.At the heart of photovoltaic (PV) technology
is a semiconductor material which can be adapted to release electrons, the negatively charged particles that form the basis of electricity the most common semiconductor material used in photovoltaic cells is silicon, an element most commonly found in sand. There is no limitation to its availability as a raw material; silicom is the second most abundant material in the earth's mass.
Solar Electric Power Systems
Solar electric power systems transform sunlight into electricity. Sunlight is an abundant resource. Every minute the sun bathes the Earth in as much energy as the world consumes in an entire year. Solar cells employ special materials called semiconductors that create electricity when exposed to light. Solar electric systems are quiet and easy to use, and they require no fuel other than sunlight. Because they contain no moving parts, they are durable, reliable, and easy to maintain.
Solar electric systems offer many advantages. Standalone systems can eliminate the need to build expensive new power lines to remote locations. For rural and remote applications, solar electricity can cost less than any other means of producing electricity. Solar electric systems can also connect to existing power lines to boost electricity output during times of high demand such as on hot, sunny days when air conditioners are on.
Solar electric systems are flexible. Solar electric modules can stand on the ground or be mounted on rooftops. They can also be built into glass skylights and walls. They can be made to look like roof shingles and can even come equipped with devices to turn their DC output into the same AC utilities deliver to wall sockets. These advances mean individual homeowners and businesses can relieve pressure on local utilities struggling to meet the increasing demand for electricity.
Solar power systems require minimal maintenance. They run quietly and efficiently without polluting. They are easy to combine with other types of electric generators such as wind, hydro, or natural gas turbines. They can charge batteries to make solar electricity continuously available.