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BY Dr R. Nithya., Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology & Research, Shri Nehru Maha Vidyalaya College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore 50
How Much Solar Energy Hits Earth?
In full sun, we can safely assume about 100 watts of solar energy per square foot. If we assume 12 hours of sun per day, this equates to 438,000 watt-hours per square foot per year. Based on 27,878,400 square feet per square mile, sunlight bestows a whopping 12.2 trillion watt-hours per square mile per year.
Solar energy is the main constituent of all the available energy sources. It can be utilized in almost through out the year.
It produces almost negligible environmental pollution.
It can be used not only in lighting and cooking only but in agriculture too. It is easily available almost all parts of our country so the machineries based on solar energy is easily accessible.
Solar energy can be harnessed in different levels around the world. Depending on a geographical locations. Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either
passive or active depending on the way they capture,
convert and distribute sunlight. The utilization of the solar energy bases technologies can be seen for various purposes : cooking, heating, electricity etc.
Why Must We Consider Solar Power ?
Solar of using power sunlight into photovoltaic's is (PV), the or conversion either directly indirectly
using concentrated solar power (CSP). Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight
into a small beam.
Photovoltaic's convert light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.
Techniques to convert solar energy
Active solar techniques -uses photovoltaic panels, pumps, and fans to convert sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques- selecting materials with favourable thermal properties, designing spaces that naturally circulate air, and referencing the position of a building to the Sun.
How does Photovoltaic cell works?
Sunlight consists of little particles of solar energy called photons. As a PV cell is exposed to this sunlight, many of the photons are reflected, pass right through, or absorbed by the solar cell.
Each individual solar energy cell produces only 1-2 watts. To increase power output, cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module.
These modules (from one to several thousand) are
then wired up in serial and/or parallel with one another, into what's called a solar array, to create the desired voltage and amperage output required by the given project.
Did you know?
The average homeowner saves over $1000 a year on electricity by installing solar panels on their roof. That's including the cost of solar panels.
How does solar power work?
In urban development Transport Rural electrification Roadways
Solar power is pollution-free during use. Production end-wastes and emissions are manageable using existing pollution controls. PV installations can operate for many years with little maintenance or intervention after their initial set-up, so after the initial capital cost of building any solar
power plant, operating costs are extremely low compared
to existing power technologies.
The cost of construction photovoltaic cell is relatively high. of
How to overcome the disadvantage using Nanotechnology ?
The amount of energy converted from light into electricity ultimately depends upon how many
electrons can pass across the interface between the two layers. And this is limited by the size of that interface. One way nanotechnology can help is by increasing the size of these interfaces by creating incredibly
bumpy surfaces. "What you are trying to do is create
very high surface areas at the interface," This
allows more electrons to pass, increasing the amount of electricity produced.
One kind of new solar cell that does precisely this is the
dye- sensitised solar cell, or Graetzel cell.
Instead of using two layers of silicon these solar cells consist of a highly porous layer of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, a common white material often used in paint, coated in a molecular dye (the molecules of which
use sunlight to mimic chlorophyll and create energy).
These cells are more flexible than traditional solar cells, they can work in higher temperatures and they can operate even in low-lighting conditions; but the key benefit is the size of the interface and thus the potential to create energy. Because of its porous nature the amount of surface
area covered by the dye is much larger than the apparent
area of the cell.
Status in India
Gujarat is the leading solar power state in our country. Charanka Solar Park (India, 214 MW),