We all know that solar energy is one of the most powerful and inexhaustible sources of energy. The need to explore alternative sources of energy arose when large-scale consumption of energy started taking place in the form of fossil fuels, coals, gas, etc.
These are forms of exhaustible energy, as they are limited in supply and will end some day. Solar energy, or in layman's language, the energy derived from sun's rays can not only be replenished, but will never get exhausted. After considerable research and analysis, scientists have started utilizing this for various purposes.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
Before going into the usefulness of this type of energy, we shall study how this system works. Solar energy is harnessed by human beings to serve plentiful purposes. This energy is put forth to use by techniques that utilize various theories of physics and chemistry.
This crude form of energy gets converted to useful sources by photovoltaic cells or heat engines. The energy captured by solar cells (mostly made up of silicon) is converted to electrical energy that is useful for many purposes.
The mechanism by which solar cells work is a physicochemical process that helps in production of energy. Now this energy is harnessed to carry out a wide range of day-to-day works.
Solar Energy Uses
The concept of utilizing solar power has large industrial applications. If you consider it over exhaustible sources of energy, then the advantages are many. Solar energy is cost-effective and it requires no additional expenses in harnessing. The only cost incurred is in manufacturing the cells.
The biggest advantage is that it is an infinite source which we would never run short of in the future. Unlike other sources of energy (carbon dioxide and coal), it doesn't cause pollution. Thus, it is completely environment friendly. It is due to these facts that future uses of solar energy are on the positive side.
● Micro hydro system is a mechanism by which photovoltaic (PV) cells are used to run turbines to generate hydro power. PV systems are largely incorporated in remote areas for distribution of drinking water. The use of solar pumps is very common in such areas.
Hospital and water supply zones are also equipped with PV systems for carrying out desalination. The only thing that they need to do is to keep battery storage to prevent running out of supply.
● Being the cheapest source of energy, it is used in small scale industries for running low-duty machines. If it's used for heavy-duty electrical loads, then a hybrid power system is set up that serves to connect the photovoltaic cells to diesel generators. It is used in radio stations and TV signaling stations to garner power for generating electricity.
Solar energy finds large application in powering light houses and in aircraft warning lights. Being considerably cheap, it's also used for lighting traffic signals, buoys, and offshore navigation purposes.
● Photovoltaic mechanism is employed for making solar cookers and home heating appliances. Panels are raised on roof tops to harness solar energy. Some other home appliances that run on solar energy are cookers, water heaters, refrigerators and composting toilets. Check out the utility of these products from home improvement shops marketing these products.
Apart from scientific inventions of solar devices, the government is also taking conscientious steps in making solar energy more popular among masses. Using solar appliances at home also saves a lot of money on electric bills. Industries that run on solar power are flourishing at a large pace.