Solar energy

Lesson 6: Energy resources

Solar energy

Sun provides a continuous supply of energy i.e. 600 times more than the amount of energy produced/day by all other energy sources combined. Solar energy is utilized in three ways.
  1. Passive heating system: Sun’s energy is converted directly into heat for use at the site where it is collected. E.g.: solar cookers

  2. Active heating system: Sun’s energy is converted into heat, but heat must be transferred from the collection area to the place of use. E.g.: solar water heaters and lanterns.

  3. Sun’s energy can be used to generate electricity, which may be used to operate solar batteries. E.g.: Photovoltaic cells
Solar photovoltaic cells can be used for a number of applications such as: Domestic lighting, street lighting, water pumping, railway signal lighting, desalination of salty water, village electrification, powering of remote telecommunication repeater stations.
In this context, "solar energy" refers to energy that is collected from sunlight. Solar energy can be applied in many ways, including to:
  • Generate electricity using photovoltaic solar cells.
  • Generate electricity using concentrated solar power.
  • Generate electricity by heating trapped air which rotates turbines in a Solar updraft tower.
  • Generate hydrogen using photo-electro-chemical cells.
  • Heat and cool air through use of solar chimneys.
  • Heat buildings, directly, through passive solar building design.
  • Heat foodstuffs, through solar ovens.
  • Heat water or air for domestic hot water and space heating needs using solar-thermal panels.
  • Solar air conditioning

Last modified: Wednesday, 28 December 2011, 11:11 AM