Solar energy can be defined as an energy received from the Sun. It is the most important source of energy. This technology helps to use the sun’s energy for various works like: – to light homes, produce hot water, electricity etc. This form of energy does not cause any type of pollution and is one of the cleanest sources.
There are two methods to convert solar energy into electricity: –
- Direct Method (Photo-voltaic)
- Indirect Method (Concentrated Solar Power)
Quick Facts: –
- It is a renewable, low maintenance source but it cannot be used at nights.
- Green plants also use solar energy in photosynthesis and convert it into chemical energy.
- Though the Sun is 93 million miles from earth but sunlight can reach earth in about 10 minutes.
- Food can be cooked, dried or pasteurized using solar energy.
- Solar energy can be stored in the form of heat by using Thermal storage systems.
- Solar Panels are used to absorb energy so that it can be used for cooking and heating water.
- Solar panels are maintenance free and can last for years.
- Some space missions use solar energy to power their spaceships.
- The unit of measuring solar energy is Kilowatt-hour where 1 Kilowatt is equal to 1000 watt.
- The earth receives about 1,366 watts of direct solar radiation per square metre.
- This energy can be used to power calculators.
- The world’s largest solar power plant is located in the Mojave Desert in California and covers 1000 acres.
- Solar energy has been used for over 2700 years.
- On an average, a solar panel has a lifespan of about 25-30 years.