Views:22 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2018-09-19 Origin:Site
Our world is running out of the natural resources at a rate faster than expected and sustainable. This raises the need to explore the resources which are renewable in nature, easy to harvest and cheap to use. The biggest example of one such resource is the sun. The intensity of the power generated by the sun can be put into perspective with the help of the fact that power needs of all the world can easily be met with the amount of energy produced by the sun in a single minute.
Considering this there are numerous initiatives taken by various countries around the world to support their energy needs at least partially if not completely with the help of the solar energy.
Solar energy is harvested with the help of solar panels and a solar panel is comprised of solar cells. In these solar cells, a basic component used by solar panel manufacturers is silicon. Such kind of solar panels is called the first generation of solar panels because these are the first type of solar panels which are produced by solar panel manufactures in the 1950s.
Silicon solar panels can be classified into following categories:
Monocrystalline Solar Panel: As the name suggests these solar panels are in the form of single crystalline made of pure silicon, this will not only increase their efficiency in converting the energy from the sun but their space efficiency as well. One drawback is that these panels are very expensive.
Polycrystalline Solar Panel: This kind of solar panels were first used in the industries in the 1980s. These panels are manufactured by melting silicon and putting it into molds. This explains their lower price tag. But it also makes them less efficient in energy conversion and space occupancy.
Amorphous Solar Panel: This kind of panels are known for being used at a small scale because they are not only lightweight solar panels but also considered as portable solar panels. This is attributed to their shapeless nature because silicon is not crystallized at the molecular level when they are manufactured. This also affects the productivity but that can be improved by stacking them on one another. They are also cheaper to produce because it requires only 1% of silicon.
In the past solar panels had very limited usage but with the advent of the technology today solar panel manufacturers are able to produce semi-flexible solar panels and folding solar panels. Now solar panels have been used in a variety of ways, some important examples are given as follows:
There is an emerging trend of incorporating solar energy in the transportation sector.
Mass consumption electronics which accounts for a large amount of energy consumption are now converted on the solar energy.
Today more consumers are conscious of the impact of their consumption on the environment. This leads to using solar energy for lighting the homes.
Another usage of solar energy is for the heating purposes. Solar water heaters and solar space heaters are catching up the pace and being installed in homes.