Green Solar Energy – This article is about radiant light and heat from the sun that is harnessed by a variety of technologies. For more information on generating electricity with solar power, see Solar Power. For the academic journal, see Solar Energy (magazine).
Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun that is harnessed through a variety of technologies such as solar energy to generate electricity, solar thermal energy (including solar water), and solar architecture.
It is an essential source of renewable energy, and its technologies are widely characterized as passive solar or active solar, depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it to solar energy. Active solar techniques include using photovoltaic systems, contracted solar energy, and solar water heating to harness energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building towards the sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light scattering properties, and designing spaces that circulate air naturally.
The large amount of solar energy available makes it a very attractive source of electricity. In 2020, solar energy was the cheapest source of electricity.
In Saudi Arabia, a power purchase agreement (ppa) was signed in April 2021 for a new solar power plant in Al-Faisaliah. The project recorded the lowest cost in the world for the production of photovoltaic solar energy at US$ 1.04/kWh.
In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that “the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will bring great benefits in the long term. due to sustainability, it reduces pollution, it reduces the costs of mitigating global warming… These advantages are global”.
Average insolation. The theoretical area of the small black dots is sufficient to supply the world’s total energy needs of 18 TW with solar energy.
About 30% is reflected back into space, while the remainder, 122 PW, is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses. The spectrum of sunlight at the Earth’s surface mainly extends through the visible and near-infrared bands, with a small portion in the near-ultraviolet.
Solar radiation is absorbed by the earth’s surface, the oceans – which cover approximately 71% of the globe – and the atmosphere. Warm air containing water evaporated from the oceans rises, causing atmospheric circulation or convection. When the air reaches a high altitude, where the temperature is low, the water vapor condenses into clouds, which rain down on the Earth’s surface, completing the water cycle. The last heat of water condensation amplifies convection, produces atmospheric foam like wind, cyclones and anticyclones.
Through photosynthesis, plants convert solar energy into chemically stored energy, which produces food, wood and biomass from which fossil fuels are derived.
The total solar energy absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land masses is about 122 PW·year = 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.
In 2002 (2019), that was more energy in an hour (an hour and 25 minutes) than the world consumed in a year.
The potential solar energy humans could use differs from the amount of solar energy present near the planet’s surface because factors such as geography, climate variation, cloud cover, and land available to humans limit the amount of solar energy we have. can acquire In 2021, the Carbon Tracker Initiative estimated that the land area needed to get all our energy from the sun was 450,000 km2, or nearly equal to the area of Sweden, or the area of Morocco, or the area of California (0 .3% of the Earth’s total surface).
Geography affects the power of solar energy because areas closer to the equator have a greater amount of solar radiation. However, using photovoltaics that can track the position of the sun can significantly increase the power of solar energy in areas further away from the equator.
Changing weather affects the power of solar energy because at night there is too little solar radiation on the Earth’s surface for solar panels to absorb. This limits the amount of energy solar panels can absorb in a day. Cloud cover can affect the output of solar panels because clouds block sunlight and reduce the light available to solar cells.
Also, land availability has a big effect on available solar energy because solar panels can only be installed on land that will not be used and suitable for solar panels. Rooftops are a good place for solar cells, as many people have discovered that they can collect energy directly from their homes this way. Other areas suitable for solar cells are land that is not used for business where solar plants can be established.
Solar technologies are characterized as passive or active tracks in the way of capturing, converting and distributing sunlight and solar energy that can be exploited at different levels of the world, mainly depending on the distance from the equator. While solar energy primarily refers to the use of solar radiation for ds practices, all renewable energies, other than geothermal and tidal energy, derive their energy directly or indirectly from the Sun.
Active solar techniques use photovoltaics, contracted solar power, solar thermal collectors, pumps and fans to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include selecting materials with favorable thermal properties, designing spaces that circulate air naturally, and referencing a building’s position relative to the Sun. Active solar technologies increase energy supply and are considered supply-side technologies, while passive solar technologies reduce the need for alternative resources and are generally considered demand-side technologies.
In 2000, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the World Energy Council published an estimate of the potential for solar energy that could be used by humans each year, taking into account factors like insulation, clouds, and the land used by humans. The estimate found that solar energy has a global potential of between 1,600 and 49,800 exajoules (4.4×10).
In 1878, at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, Augustin Mouchot successfully demonstrated a solar steam engine, but was unable to continue development due to cheap coal and other factors.
In 1897, Frank Shuman, an inventor, engineer, and pioneer of solar energy in the United States, built a small demonstration solar generator that worked by reflecting solar energy into square boxes filled with ether, which has a lower boiling point than water. and that were internally. equipped with black tubes which in turn fed a steam engine. In 1908, Shuman formed the Sun Power Company with the aim of building larger solar plants. He, with his technical advisor A.S.E. Ackermann and the British physicist Sir Charles Vernon Boys,
He developed an improved system using mirrors to reflect solar energy off the collection boxes, increasing the heating capacity until water could be used instead of ether. Shuman th built a large-scale low-pressure water-powered steam engine, which enabled him to beat the tire solar engine system in 1912.
Shuman built the world’s first solar thermal station in Maadi, Egypt, in 1912-1913. His plant used parabolic troughs to power a 45-52 kilowatt (60-70 hp) motor that pumped more than 22,000 liters (4,800 gal imp; 5,800 gal) of water per minute from the Nile River to adjacent cotton fields. Although the outbreak of World War I and the discovery of cheap oil in the 1930s discouraged the advancement of solar energy, Shuman’s vision and basic design was resurrected in the 1970s with a new wave of interest in solar thermal energy.
We demonstrate the commercial benefits of solar energy in the tropics and show more particularly that after our oil and coal reserves are depleted, the human race can receive unlimited energy from the sun’s rays. – Frank Shuman, New York Times, July 2, 1916  Water heating
Solar hot water systems use sunlight to heat water. In mid-latitudes (between 40°N and 40°S), between 60 and 70% of domestic hot water usage, with water temperatures up to 60°C (140°F), can be provided by solar heating systems.
The most common types of solar water heaters are evacuated tube collectors (44%) and vitrified flat plate collectors (34%) generally used for domestic hot water; and plastic collectors without glass (21%) used mainly for heating swimming pools.
In 2015, the total installed capacity of solar hot water systems was approximately 436 thermal gigawatts (GW).
Israel and Cyprus are the per capita leaders in the use of solar hot water systems, with over 90% of households using them.
In the United States, Canada and Australia, swimming pool heating is the dominant application of solar hot water with an installed capacity of 18 GW.
In the United States, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for 30% (4.65 EJ/year) of energy used in commercial buildings and nearly 50% (10.1 EJ/year) of energy used in commercial buildings. residential buildings. .
Solar heating, cooling and ventilation technologies can be used to offset some of this energy. The use of solar energy for heating can be divided into passive solar concepts and active solar concepts, depending on active elements such as solar tracking.
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