Solar Energy

Made ByArchit Tantia Aayush Tainwala Chandrakant Sarda

Main Menu
Introduction Solar Energy Devices

Traditional Uses of Energy

Solar Heating Devices

Harnessing Solar Energy

Differences between Solar Devices

Composition of Sunlight

Drawbacks of Solar Heating Devices

The Extended Solar Spectrum Exercises

Acknowledgements

Close

visible light. The nuclear fusion reactions taking place inside the sun keep on liberating enormous amounts of heat and light energy. in different proportions (gamma rays are electromagnetic rays having wavelengths even shorter than ultra-violet rays. ultra-violet rays and some gamma rays. So. Since the sun is very. Close . at the top of the atmosphere. visible light. ultra-violet rays. The sun provides us heat and light energy free of cost ! The energy obtained from the sun is called solar energy. This heat and light energy is radiated by the sun in all directions in space in the form of solar energy. very far away.Solar Energy The sun is the source of all energy. and gamma rays. the solar energy consists of heat rays (infra-red rays). very small fraction of this solar energy. so the earth and other planets receive only a very. The energy coming from the sun contains heat rays (called infra-red rays).

So. snowfall. storms. Similarly. which reaches us on the earth¶s surface. The solar energy which reaches the earth is absorbed by land and water-bodies (like: rivers. and seawaves. The atmosphere also absorb. rain. lakes and oceans). The solar energy trapped by land and water-bodies causes many phenomena in nature like winds. the atmosphere also absorbs gamma rays.Solar Energy A little less than half (about 47 per cent) of solar energy which falls on the periphery (top surface) of the atmosphere actually reaches the surface of the earth. etc. most of the ultra-violet rays present in solar energy are absorbed and eliminated by the atmosphere. For example. a lot of solar energy as it comes down through it towards the surface of earth. is mostly in the form of heat rays (infra-red rays) and visible-light (and very little ultra-violet rays). Close . and plants. the solar energy.

We can define the solar constant as follows : The amount of solar energy received per second by one square metre area of the near earth space (exposed perpendicularly to the rays of the sun) at an average distance between the sun and the earth. Thus.4 kilojoules per second per square metre.4 kilojoules per second per square metre Or Solar constant = 1. the solar constant tells us the amount of energy which falls in 1 second on a 1 square metre area of the near earth space at an average distance between the sun and the Earth. is called solar constant.Solar Energy The energy that the near earth space receives from the sun is about 1. We have just seen that : Solar constant = 1. and this quantity is called the solar constant.4 kJ/sm2) Close .4 kJ/s/m2 (also written as 1.

4 kW/m2 We can use the value of the solar constant in either of the two units given above depending on the requirement of the problem to be solved. we can also say that: Solar constant = 1.4 kilowatts per square metre Or Solar constant = 1. Thus. Close .Solar Energy We can also write the value of solar constant in terms of power by writing 'kilowatts per square metre' in place of `kilojoules per second per square metre'.

. when sunlight falls on an object it produces heat. etc. (i) Solar energy has been used for drying clothes. (iii) Solar energy has been used for reducing the moisture content in food-grains after harvesting the crops. Traditionally the solar energy has been put to very limited uses.Traditional Uses of Solar Energy About one-third portion of the sunlight consists of infra-red rays. So. Some of the traditional uses of solar energy are given page. vegetables and fish. And this heat can be used for various purposes. by the process of sun-drying. (ii) Solar energy has been used for obtaining salt from the sea-water. Close . (iv) Solar energy has been used for the preservation of fruits. These infra-red rays have a property that they heat the objects on which they fall.

This will create an energy crisis on the earth. The sun is the most abundant and everlasting source of energy on the earth.Harnessing Solar Energy The known reserves of the fossil fuels like coal. So. petroleum and natural gas in the earth are very limited which will get exhausted in a few decades time. Solar energy an be harnessed (or utilized) in two ways: direct and indirect. In this context. the sun is one of the major sources of renewable energy. man has accelerated the search for renewable sources of energy. in order to overcome the impending energy crisis. Close .

Close .The direct utilization of solar energy can be done either by collecting it as heat (as we do in a solar cooker or solar water heater) or by converting t directly into electricity (as we do in solar cells).Harnessing Solar Energy (i) Direct Utilization of Solar Energy . In this way solar energy (or sun's energy) can be utilized directly.The indirect utilization of solar energy can be done by converting it into chemical energy like the bio-mass of plants. the formation of sea-waves and the temperature difference between water at different depths of the sea. The other indirect ways of utilizing the solar energy are: Harnessing the energy of the wind and utilization of energy due to the temperature difference in the water in different levels in the seas: This is because the flow of wind. all are due to solar energy. (ii) Indirect Utilization of Solar Energy .

and cannot be seen with our eyes. We can see only the visible part of the sun-light called "visible light" having the wavelength range from bout 400 nanometer to 700 nanometer. Close . Out of these. all having different range of wavelengths. ultra-violet rays have the shortest wavelengths and the infra-red rays have the longest wavelengths.Composition of Sunlight The sun-light consists of three.types of electromagnetic waves : ultra-violet rays. The ultra-violet rays and infra-red rays contained in sunlight are invisible. visible light and infra-red rays. Infra-red rays produce a sensation of heat whereas ultra-violet rays produce fluorescence in certain substances.

invisible to eye) (Intermediate wavelengths.light (iii) Infra-red rays (Shortest wavelengths. These are: (i) Ultra-violet rays (ii) Visible. visible to eye) (Longest wavelengths. all having different wavelength ranges. invisible to eye) Ultra-violet rays are also called ultra-violet radiation and infra-red rays are also known as infra-red radiation Close .Composition of Sunlight We receive the sun's energy in the form of three types of waves.

All the colors of the visible spectrum have different wavelengths. and violet color having the shortest wavelength. we get a band of seven colors: Red. Indigo and Violet. Orange. Yellow.The Extended Solar Spectrum If we pass sunlight through a triangular glass prism. Blue. The formation of spectrum consisting of seven colors shows that the visible part of sunlight consists of seven different colors. with red color having the longest wavelength. This is called visible spectrum because we can see it with our eyes. Close . Green.

but extends on both sides beyond the red and beyond the violet. The invisible part of the spectrum immediately beyond the red colour is known as infra-red and it is identical with heat radiations.The Extended Solar Spectrum The sun's spectrum is not as small as we see it. immediately beyond the violet colour is known as ultra-violet. And the invisible part of the spectrum. Close .

the solar energy is collected in the form of heat. Solar cell is a device in which solar energy is directly converted into electricity. All the solar energy devices can be classified into two categories on the basis of their working.In the other type of solar devices.Solar Energy Devices The various devices which are commonly used for harnessing (or utilizing) sun's energy are : solar cooker. solar concentrator. In one type of solar devices. the solar energy is converted directly into electricity. These are called solar energy devices.. Close . solar concentrator and solar water heater are such devices in which solar energy is collected as heat and used as such. Solar cooker. solar water heater and solar cell.

For example. Therefore. (i) The Use of Black Painted Surface in Solar Heating Devices We know that as compared to a white reflecting surface. This is done by using a black painted surface. a black coloured surface absorbs much more heat. the inner walls and bottom of the box-type solar cooker are painted black to maximize absorption of heat and to minimize heat losses due to reflection. All the solar heating devices are designed in such a way that they help in collecting as much sunlight energy as possible. a glass sheet cover and a reflector. black painted surfaces are used so that they may absorb the maximum amount of heat from the sunlight or sunshine.Solar Heating Devices A device which gets heated by the sun's heat energy is called a solar heating device. Close . in the designing of solar heating devices.

of absorbed heat in a solar heating device. In order to prevent the loss. Close . When this solar heating device is kept in sunlight for some time then its glass cover allows both. The black inner surface of the solar heating device absorbs these infra-red rays and becomes hot (because infra-red rays produce a heating effect). But the infra-red rays emitted by the less hot inner surface of the solar heating device are of comparatively longer wavelengths. then it also starts radiating heat in the form of infra-red rays. the black painted metal box is placed inside an insulated wooden box and covered with a transparent glass sheet. convection and radiation. When the black inner surface of the solar heating device becomes quite hot.Solar Heating Devices (ii) The Use of Glass Sheet Cover in Solar Heating Devices We know that a hot body can lose its heat by the processes of conduction. visible light and short wavelength infra-red rays present in sunlight to pass through it and go inside the blackened box.

Usually. The two types of spherical reflectors which are used in solar heating devices are: concave reflector and parabolic reflector. The reflector is used to increase the area over which the solar energy is collected so that more and more heat rays of the sun may enter the solar heating device. In those solar heating devices where high temperature is to be produced. a plane mirror is used as a reflector. spherical reflectors are used. Close .Solar Heating Devices (iii) The Use of Reflector in Solar Heating Devices ± In order to increase the efficiency of a solar heating device. a reflector is also attached to it. A labelled diagram of a simple solar heating device is shown.

A box made of a non-conducting material like plastic or fiberglass and painted black from inside can also be used for making the solar cooker: There is a thick glass sheet G as a cover over the box. A solar cooker consists of an insulated metal box or wooden box B. Close .Solar Cooker A solar cooker is a device which is used to cook food by utilizing' the energy radiated by the sun. which is painted all black from inside. and a plane mirror reflector R is also attached to the box as shown.

The box-type solar cooker cannot be used for baking and frying because they require stronger heating.Solar Cooker The box-type solar cooker is used to cook those food materials which require slow heating. Before we describe spherical reflector type solar cooker. let us give the advantages and limitations of a box-type solar cooker. spherical reflector type solar cooker is used. For the purpose of baking and frying. Click Here To Know More Close .

The spherical reflector concave or parabolic reflector) concentrates sun's energy in a small region F to enhance its heating effect. Close . there is a yet another design of solar cooker which is known as "solar cooker with spherical reflector" in which the sun-rays are concentrated to obtain higher temperatures. The principle of spherical reflector type solar cooker has been illustrated: Diagram to show the principle of a spherical reflector type solar cooker.Spherical Reflector Type Solar Cooker Apart from the box-type solar cooker.

produced (iii) Box-type solar cooker can be used for cooking only those food materials which require slow heating. It does not concentrate solar energy at a point. For example. For example. Spherical reflector type solar cooker can be used for cooking: even those food materials which require strong heating: Spherical reflector type solar cooker can be used for baking and frying also. a concave reflector or a parabolic reflector is used. (iv) Box-type solar cooker cannot be used for baking and frying. (iv) (iii) (ii) Quite high temperature is produced in the spherical reflector type solar cooker. comparatively low temperature is. (ii)) In the box-type solar cooker.Differences Between Box-Type Solar Cooker and Spherical Reflector Type Solar Cooker The main differences between a box-type solar cooker and a spherical reflector type solar cooker are given below: Box-Type Solar Cooker (i) In the box-type solar cooker. it is not possible to bake chappaties and fry eggs in a box-type solar cooker. (i) Spherical Reflector Type Solar Cooker In the spherical reflector type solar cooker. Close . It concentrates the solar energy in a small region called focus. we can bake chappaties` and fry eggs in a spherical reflector type solar cooker. a plane reflector is used.

is not available at that time. the solar heating devices always keep facing the sun and sunshine falls an them the whole day: (ii) Solar heating devices cannot be used during the night because. special arrangements are being made in solar heating devices that they keep on rotating themselves slowly. Though it is very inconvenient but it is an essential requirement to collect the maximum amount of solar energy. even then the solar heating devices cannot be used. Close . however.solar energy (or sunshine). Because of this. These days.Drawbacks of Solar Energy Heating Devices Some of the major drawbacks of the solar energy heating devices are given below : (i) One of the major drawbacks of the solar energy heating devices has been that their direction has to be changed after short intervals so that they keep on facing the sun and sunshine may fall on them directly during the whole day. (iii) If the day-sky is covered with clouds.

Give two examples of each type.Exercises 1. What is solar constant ? What is the value of solar constant ? 5. What type of reactions occurring inside the sun produce solar energy ? 3. Close . 6. Solar energy can be harnessed directly as well as indirectly. What is solar energy? 2. calculate the value of solar constant. Which component of solar energy is almost completely absorbed and eliminated by the atmosphere ? 4. If the energy received by 5m2 area in 10 minutes is 4200 kJ. 7. State some of the traditional uses of solar energy.

Though a hat iron emits radiations. 10. Which component of light received from the sun has the shortest and longest wavelengths. Why ? 14. yet it is not visible in the dark. What type of radiation is emitted by a kettle containing boiling water ? ' 11. respectively? 12.Exercises 8. Name the part of sunlight used in heating of land and water-bodies. Explain the composition of sunlight. Name the radiations in the sunlight that give feeling of hotness. 9. What is the range of wavelengths in the visible region ? Close . Which -part of the solar radiation is responsible for maximum heating ? 13.

the value of solar constant has been given in terms of power as 1. 1 m2 area receives energy = 1.4 x 3600 kJ = 5040 kJ Thus.4 kW/m2 but to calculate the energy we have to use the value of solar constant in terms of energy which is 1.4 kJ/s/m2.4 kJ So. 504() kilojoules of energy will be received by 1 square metre area in 1 hour Close .Exercises How much solar energy will be received by 1 m2 area in one hour if the solar constant were 1. Please note that 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds. 1 m2 area will receive energy = 1. In 3600 s. Now.4 kilowatts per square metre ? Solution: Solution: In this problem. In 1 s.

Acknowledgements Close .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful