As the name suggests, solar energy is the energy derived from the sun. Majority of people are unaware about the actual formation and working of the solar energy. In the simplest terms, it can be said that the energy emitted by the sun, is harnessed and converted to thermal energy or electricity with the help of the solar panels. These solar panels are installed in the areas where the solar energy is required.
Facts and Information About Solar Energy
- Horace de Saussure, a Swiss scientist, was the inventor of the world's first solar energy collector, also called 'hot box', in 1767.
- In the late 15th century, the famous scientist and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci had conceived the idea of using solar energy to heat water by using concave mirrors.
- The photovoltaic cells help in conversion of solar radiation (sunrays) to electricity.
- It is a renewable source of energy. As the sun is the only source of this energy, it is possible to generate energy and electricity as long as the sun prevails.
- The sun is estimated to last for another 5-6 billion years. That means solar energy is as good as inextinguishable.
- Secondly, unlike the fossil fuels, solar energy is a non-polluting source of energy, i.e., no harmful pollutants and wastes like gases are produced when the energy is generated.
- This energy is cheaper as compared to other forms of energy. Apart from the initial cost, one does not have to pay anything for generating and using this energy.
- Solar energy facts suggest that this energy is safer and easier to use at home, offices and industrial areas.
- The solar panels are noiseless, smokeless and easy to use.
- The prices of fossil fuels keep on increasing. On the contrary, the solar energy is relatively free once the solar panels are installed (keeping aside the installation cost).
- It can be used in several appliances like solar cooker, solar water heater, solar-powered cells, calculators, solar-powered cars, etc.
- The Arnstein solar electric plant, in Bavaria, Germany, is the largest solar energy system in the world which generates around 12MW energy which is provided to 3,500 households.
- The Mojave Desert in North America has the world's largest solar power plant, which covers around 1000 acres of solar reflectors.
- It is a misconception that solar energy cannot be produced in cold countries as we find instances where solar panels can be used in cold countries like the CIS tower in Manchester.
- It is safe for the environment as well as human beings. The generation and utilization of this energy does not harm anyone in any way.
- Lastly, it should be noted that the Sahara desert alone can produce approximately 400-500 TW electricity, which can provide electricity to the whole world.