Solar energyis harnessing the sun’s light and heat and using it as a source of energy. The amount of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface in a year amounts to about twice that obtained from non- renewable resources such as natural gas, oil, coal, and mined uranium put together. Plants use just a fraction of this natural resource during photosynthesis to produce their food.
The technology of transforming solar radiation into energy falls into two types: active and passive. The active technique uses solar panels fitted with photo-voltaic cells to convert solar radiation to productive energy. The passive method involves construction design features like positioning windows in a building to garner optimum sunlight, designing of space for natural air circulation, and utilizing thermal friendly materials like stone and earth in order to utilize this energy source.
Solar energy is a cost effective method of supplying energy to the ever growing needs of people.
Solar street lights use fluorescent lamps that work automatically from dusk till dawn, and can operate for three sunless days with a battery backup and require zero maintenance. Outdoor solar lights in gardens and streets do not require any cables to be laid as solar panels are often mounted on them.
Solar panels installed on roof tops or open terraces collect the sun’s energy and run household appliances during the day and store the excess power in batteries. Water too can be heated in this way in open tanks via tubes which heat the water and transfer it to a water storage system or swimming pool. Rooftop solar panels are the perfect solution to cut down huge power bills.
A portable solar panel is ideal for picnics and camping. Foldable solar panels are convenient for recharging laptops and cell phones. In an emergency or natural disaster, portable solar power may be used for lighting and communication.
The sun is the most effective and provides a never ending supply of clean energy contrary to energy obtained from fossil fuels. Solar energy does not produce any harmful green house gases or pollution. It is environment friendly as it keeps the air clean and enhances one’s quality of life.