Solar energy is a term used to refer to the type of renewable energy source that comes from the sun. It is considered a way of obtaining clean light and does not cause damage to the environment. It is also said to be one of the cheapest energy sources.
To use solar energy is necessary to capture the light through infrared and ultraviolet rays to be able to transform them into electric or thermal energy. Among the various technologies available, solar energy uses the following fields:
- Solar heating – Employee for the heating of water for swimming pools, bath and some industrial processes;
- Photovoltaic solar energy – This is the technology that performs the direct conversion of light into electricity;
- Artificial photosynthesis – Imitates the natural procedure of photosynthesis of plants.
It is estimated that Earth receives about 1,410 W / m² of energy through the translational movement performed around the Sun. The part of the light that reaches the Earth’s atmosphere is used by plants in the process of photosynthesis. On the other hand, a small part of the available solar energy is used. In addition, there are other natural resources used: biomass, hydroelectricity, wave energy and wind power.
Residential solar energy
It is the type of energy that uses the Photovoltaic Effect, through a photovoltaic cell with a device made of semiconductor material, such as crystalline silica.
Through it is possible to power various appliances and generate power for both private homes and industries. The use of this energy model is done by means of a solar panel usually connected to another one to form the so-called photovoltaic solar system, which is generally composed of panels and solar inverters, wiring, system of fixation of solar panels, connectors, among others.
Solar thermal energy is an alternative means of harnessing solar energy for domestic or industrial use. In addition, solar energy can be used in apartment and commercial buildings. The application of solar energy technology in air conditioning is possible, but for now is an expensive alternative, considering that it is necessary to use many solar panels and batteries.
Advantages and disadvantages of solar energy
Solar energy has been increasingly used, and with that you can already see some advantages and disadvantages. The favorable points are related to non-pollution, less maintenance of its power stations, greater power of the solar panels and consequent reduction of its price. It is also an excellent alternative of generating power in places difficult to access or remote.
On the other hand, the main disadvantages are: there is no way to produce energy at night, production variation according to the climate and temperature of a region, forms of energy storage inefficient, small yield of solar panels (something around of 25%).
Solar energy in Germany has registered a significant increase, to the point that the Germans are called the country of the rising sun. Solar energy in Brazil should be included in the list of the 20 largest generators from 2018.