Posted on: January 7, 2022 Posted by: Jerry D. Pfeil Comments: 0

Nuclear fusion, which takes place in the sun, creates solar energy. It is essential for the survival of life on Earth and can generate electricity.

Solar Panels

Any solar energy is energy that the sun generates. You can harness solar energy directly or indirectly to make it useful for humans. These panels are mounted on rooftops in Germany and harvest solar energy to generate electricity.

Solar energy refers to any form of energy produced by the sun.

Nuclear fusion is what creates solar energy. It takes place in the sun. Fusion is when hydrogen atoms collide violently in the sun’s core and fuse to form a helium atom.

This is known as a proton-proton (PP) chain reaction. It produces a tremendous amount of energy. The sun’s core fusions approximately 620 million tons of hydrogen per second. The PP chain reaction occurs in other stars, which are approximately the same size as our sun and provide them with constant energy and heat. According to the Kelvin scale, these stars have a temperature of 4,000,000 degrees (4 million Celsius, 7,000,000 Fahrenheit).

The CNO cycle is responsible for creating energy in stars about 1.3 times larger than the sun. CNO cycles also convert hydrogen to helium, but it depends on carbon, nitrogen and oxygen (C N, O, and O). The CNO cycle currently creates less than 2% sun’s energy.

The PP chain reaction, or CNO cycle, releases enormous amounts of energy as waves and particles from nuclear fusion. The solar system is constantly flooded with solar energy. Solar energy heats the Earth and causes the wind to flow and weather. It also sustains animal and plant life.

In the form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), the sun’s energy, heat and light are lost.

The electromagnetic spectrum is made up of waves with different frequencies and wavelengths. The frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself within a given unit of time. High-frequency waves have very short wavelengths and repeat themselves many times within a given period. Low-frequency waves, on the other hand, have longer wavelengths.

Most electromagnetic waves are invisible to the human eye. Gamma rays and X-rays are the most powerful high-frequency radiations emitted from the sun. The atmosphere absorbs almost all of the most dangerous UV rays. Sunburn can be caused by less potent UV rays that travel through the atmosphere.

The sun also emits Infrared Radiation, which waves are lower-frequency. Infrared energy is the most common form of heat produced by the sun.

The visible spectrum is sandwiched between UV and infrared. It contains all colours that we can see on Earth. Red has the longest wavelengths, and violet is the closest to infrared.

Natural Solar Energy

Greenhouse Effect

The visible, infrared and UV wavelengths that reach Earth participate in the planet’s warming. This process is known as the “greenhouse effect”.

Around 30% of solar energy reaching Earth is reflected in the universe. The rest of the solar energy is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere. The radiation heats the Earth’s surface and radiates some energy back in the form of infrared wavelengths. Greenhouse gases intercept them as they travel through the atmosphere. These include carbon dioxide and water vapour.

Greenhouse gases trap heat which is reflected in the atmosphere. They act in a similar way to greenhouse glass. This greenhouse effect keeps the Earth sufficiently warm to support life.

Photosynthesis

Nearly all of life on Earth depends on solar energy to provide food.

Produces depend directly on sunlight. Through photosynthesis, they absorb sunlight and transform it into nutrients. The autotrophs are plants, bacteria, fungi, and algae. The food web is built on autotrophs.

Produced nutrients are what consumers rely upon. Indirectly, solar energy is used by herbivores and carnivores and omnivores and detritivores. Herbivores consume plants and other producers. Carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores both eat producers and herbivores. Consuming detritivores helps to break down plant and animal matter.

Fossil fuels

Photosynthesis is also responsible for all the fossil fuels found on Earth. Scientists believe that the first autotrophs developed in an aquatic environment around 3 billion years ago. The sun allowed plant life to flourish and develop. Autotrophs die and shift deeper into the Earth. Sometimes, thousands of meters. This process went on for many millions of years.

These remains were transformed into what we now call fossil fuels by high temperatures and intense pressure. These microorganisms transformed into petroleum, natural gas and coal.

These fossil fuels have been extracted and used for energy by people. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable resources. It takes millions of years for them to form.

Harnessing Solar Energy

The renewable resource of solar energy is available in many technologies. It can be harvested directly by many technologies in homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Photovoltaic panels and photovoltaic cells concentrate solar power, and solar architecture is just a few examples of solar energy technologies.

There are many ways to capture solar radiation and convert it into usable electricity. These methods can be used as active or passive solar energy.

Active solar technologies use electrical or mechanical devices to convert solar energy into heat or electricity. Passive solar technologies do not use any external devices. They instead use the climate to heat the winter and reflect the heat in the summer.

Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics, a type of active solar technology, was first discovered by Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel in 1839. Becquerel discovered the electric current when he exposed silver chloride to an acidic solution. Photovoltaics is the process of producing electricity directly from sunlight.

Photovoltaics is the most popular way to harness sunlight today. Photovoltaic arrays typically include solar panels containing dozens or even hundreds of solar cells.

A semiconductor is found in every solar cell. It is usually made from silicon. The semiconductor absorbs sunlight and releases electrons. An electrical field directs these electrons into an electric current that flows in one direction. The current flows to an external object through metal contacts at the bottom and top of a solar cell. External objects can be as small or large as a calculator powered by solar energy or even a power station.

The first spacecraft used photovoltaics. Many satellites have reflective wings made of solar panels. The ISS uses two solar array wings (SAWs). Each uses approximately 33,000 solar cells. These photovoltaic panels supply all electricity to ISS. This allows astronauts to safely operate the station for several months, conduct engineering and scientific experiments, and live in space for extended periods.

All over the globe, photovoltaic power plants have been constructed. The United States, India and China have the largest photovoltaic power stations. These power stations produce hundreds of megawatts (electricity) used to supply homes and businesses with electricity.

You can also install photovoltaic technology on a smaller scale. Solar panels or cells can be attached for electricity to be supplied to buildings’ roofs and exterior walls. You can place them along roads and light highways. They can power smaller devices such as parking meters, calculators, trash compactors and water pumps.

Concentrated Sun Energy

Another type of active sun technology is concentrated sunlight energy or CSP. CSP technology uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate (concentrate) sunlight. This radiation heats the fluid and generates electricity or other fuels.

Concentrated solar powers is an example. There are several types of solar furnaces: parabolic troughs and solar power towers. They all use the same method to capture and convert electricity.

Solar power towers use Heliostats. These flat mirrors turn to follow the sun’s path through the sky. Mirrors are placed around a central “collector Tower” and reflect sunlight to create a concentrated beam of light that shines at a point on the tower.

The concentrated sunlight heated water in a container to produce steam, which powered a turbine. Some solar power towers now use liquid sodium. This has a higher heat retention time and a greater heat capacity. This fluid can reach temperatures between 773 and 1,273 K (932 to 1,832deg F or 500 to 1,000 deg C), and it can also continue boiling water and generating power even when there is no sun.

Although their mirrors are different, fresnel reflectors and parabolic troughs both use CSP. Parabolic mirrors have a shape that is similar to a saddle. Fresnel reflectors use thin, flat strips of a mirror to catch sunlight and direct it onto a tube filled with liquid. The surface area of Fresnel reflectors is greater than that of parabolic troughs, and they can concentrate the sun’s energies to around 30 times their normal intensity.

In the 1980s, concentrated solar power plants were developed for the first time. The plant group located in California’s Mojave desert is the largest facility. This Solar Energy Generating System (SEGS) generates over 650 gigawatts of electricity each year. Spain and India have also developed large, efficient plants.

You can also use concentrated solar power on a smaller scale. For example, it can produce heat for solar ovens. People use solar cookers in villages around the globe to boil water and cook food sanitation.

There are many benefits to solar cookers over wood-burning stoves. They do not create smoke, do not need fuel, and reduce habitat loss in areas where trees could be harvested for fuel. Solar cookers allow villagers to use time previously spent gathering firewood for education, business or family. You can find solar cookers in many places, including Chad, India, India, Peru, and India.

Solar Architecture

Solar energy is part of the thermal convection process, which involves the movement of heat from a warmer to a cooler space over a day. The sun begins to heat objects and materials on Earth when it rises. These materials absorb solar radiation heat throughout the day. The materials release heat into the atmosphere at night when the sun sets, and the air has cooled.

This natural heating and cooling process is used to generate passive solar energy.

Passive solar energy is used to heat homes and other buildings. It’s efficient and cost-effective. This is how you calculate a building’s thermal mass. The bulk of material heated during the day is a building’s thermal mass. Wood, metal, concrete claystone or mud are all examples of thermal mass. The thermal mass heats up at night and releases it back into the room. The efficient ventilation systems -hallways and windows, and air ducts – distribute the warm air and maintain an indoor temperature of around 20°C.

In the design of buildings, passive solar technology is used often. An engineer or architect might align the building with the sun’s daily route during construction to get the desired amount of sunlight. This takes into consideration the latitude and elevation and typical cloud coverage for a particular area. You can also retrofit buildings to add thermal insulation, thermal mass or additional shading.

Cool roofs, radiant barriers, and green roofs are other passive solar architecture examples. Cool roofs are white and reflect the sun’s radiation rather than absorb it. The white surface helps to reduce heat reaching the interior of the building. This, in turn, lowers the energy required to cool it.

Radiant barriers function in the same way as cool roofs. These barriers provide insulation using highly reflective materials like aluminium foil. The foil can reflect heat instead of absorbing it and reduce cooling costs by 10%. Radiant barriers can also be installed under floors and roofs.

Green roof s roofs that have been completely covered in vegetation are called green roofs. They need soil and irrigation to support plants and a waterproof layer underneath. Green roofs provide vegetation and reduce heat loss. Green roofs are photosynthesis plants that absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. They remove pollutants from rainwater and air and counter some of the negative effects of energy consumption in that area.

For centuries, green roofs have been a Scandinavian tradition. They have become increasingly popular in Australia, Western Europe and Canada. Ford Motor Company, for example, covered 42,000 square metres (450,000 feet) of Dearborn, Michigan’s assembly plant roofs with vegetation. The roofs absorb several centimetres of rainwater, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Cool and green roofs can counteract the “urban heat island” effect. The temperature in busy cities can often be higher than that of the surrounding areas. This is due to many factors:

  • Concrete and asphalt are heat-absorbing materials.
  • High-density buildings block wind and reduce its cooling effects.
  • High traffic levels and industry generate high levels of heat waste.

Local temperature rises in urban areas can be partially reduced by using the space available on the roof for planting trees or reflecting heat from white roofs.

Solar Energy and People

Solar energy technology must include ways to store the sun’s energy in the darkest hours of the day, as the sun only shines about half the time in most places around the globe.

Thermal mass systems store heat in the form of paraffin wax and other salt forms. Photovoltaic systems can send excess electricity to the local power grid or store it in rechargeable batteries.

Solar energy has many benefits and drawbacks.

Advantages

Solar energy has the advantage of being a renewable resource. For another 5 billion years, we will have an unrestricted supply of sunlight. One hour of sunlight is enough to provide electricity for all human beings on Earth.

Solar energy is renewable. Solar energy doesn’t require fuel once the equipment has been installed. It does not emit harmful substances or greenhouse gases. Solar energy can dramatically reduce our impact on the environment.

Some areas are suitable for solar energy. Solar energy can be harnessed by homes and buildings located in sunny areas with low clouds and high levels of sunlight.

The solar cookers are a great alternative to wood-fired stoves, which 2 billion people still use. Solar cookers are safer and cleaner ways to cook food and sanitize water.

Other renewable energy sources, like wind and hydroelectric power, can be supplemented by solar energy.

Successful solar panels can produce excess electricity in homes and businesses. These homeowners and business owners can sell excess electricity back to the electric company, reducing or eliminating their power bills.

Disadvantages

Equipment is the main barrier to solar energy. The cost of solar technology equipment can be prohibitive. For individual homes, the cost of purchasing and installing solar technology equipment can run into the thousands. While the government offers lower taxes for people and businesses that use solar energy to reduce electricity bills, many don’t consider the initial cost.

Also, solar energy equipment can be very heavy. The roof of a building must be strong and large.

Both passive and active solar technology are affected by factors beyond our control. These include weather and cloud cover. It must be examined to determine if solar power is feasible in a particular area.

For solar energy to be efficient, sunlight must be plentiful and consistent. It isn’t easy to use sunlight as the sole source of energy in most locations on Earth because of its variability.

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