August 26, 2022
What Are the Different Types of Solar Energy? : One of the most promising sources of renewable energy now available is solar energy. It is also one of the most adaptable, with a variety of uses. Various forms of solar energy each have advantages and drawbacks.
But how many different kinds of solar energy exist? Does solar energy come in two, three, four, or even more types? The various types of solar energy and how they operate will be covered in this blog post.
Photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, and passive solar gain are the three main categories of solar energy. Solar thermal systems use the sun’s heat to produce steam that powers turbines, while PV panels use the sun’s light to produce electricity. The natural heat and light of the sun are used by a passive solar gain to warm a place. Let’s examine each type (and application) of solar energy in turn.
The most widely used form of solar energy is photovoltaic energy. Solar photovoltaic cells, often known as PV cells, are devices that use light to generate electricity. Due to their affordability and simplicity of installation, PV panels are the most widely used kind of solar energy.
A photovoltaic cell has two layers, typically made of silicon. When sunlight strikes the cell, photons dislodge electrons from silicon atoms. By doing this, an electric current is produced that can be utilized to recharge batteries or power devices.
As opposed to AC (Alternating Current), the energy generated is DC (Direct Current), hence an inverter is required before it can power anything in your house. As a result, a battery to store extra energy will be installed along with your solar panels in addition to an inverter, which is a very popular add-on. Your extra energy is fed back into the national grid if you don’t have a battery.
The biggest benefit of photovoltaic electricity is how little upkeep it requires. Since solar PV panels don’t have any moving parts, solar maintenance is not necessary. As a result, they have a lengthy lifespan; the majority of solar panels have a 25-year lifespan. They continue to be more expensive than you might prefer from the standpoint of a homeowner. Because of this, Solar Together has made it its mission to increase everyone’s access to and affordability of solar panels and batteries.
Also read: Best Locations to Install Your Solar Panels
A type of solar energy called solar thermal energy uses the heat from the sun to produce electricity. It can be applied domestically to solar thermal systems, which warm water for storage in hot water cylinders using energy from the sun. Due to seasonal variations in solar energy, a solar water heating system cannot supply all of a household’s hot water needs. To make up for the difference, a typical immersion heater or boiler is typically employed.
Industrial uses are also possible for solar thermal energy. Mirrors are used in power plants to focus sunlight into a small region. A fluid, frequently oil, is heated by concentrated light to produce steam. Turbines are turned by steam to produce energy. This is how many large energy production facilities, such as nuclear power plants, operate; in this case, the source is just more ecologically friendly. Desert areas, where there is a lot of sunlight and little cloud cover, are where solar thermal power facilities are most frequently used.
Solar thermal power plants are not as prevalent as PV panels because they are often enormous and expensive, and they are definitely not something you can have on your roof or in your backyard.
Compared to PV panels, solar thermal energy has a lot of benefits. One reason is that it is more effective: the finest household PV panels only convert around 20% of the sunlight that strikes them into electricity, compared to a well-designed solar thermal power plant’s ability to convert about 80%. Additionally, because solar thermal energy can store heat, it can produce power even when the sun isn’t shining.
The solar energy that doesn’t need equipment to produce power is called passive solar gain. Instead, it uses the sun’s free natural heat and light to warm a room. As a result, this sort of solar energy is in some ways the finest because it is totally free and accessible to everyone.
To bring sunshine into your home, for instance, you can open your curtains in the morning. Or, if you’re constructing a house, you may position the windows such that they face the sun. The room will then become more comfortable to live in as a result of the sun’s light and warmth warming the floor, the walls, the furniture, and everything else in the room. Depending on how well insulated the home is, this may account for between 15% and 20% of the heating requirements.
Also read: How to Find the Top Solar Companies Near Me
Heat storage and electricity storage are the two main categories of solar energy storage. Heat storage uses the sun’s heat to warm a fluid so that electricity can be produced even when the sun isn’t out. Batteries are used in energy storage to store extra solar energy for later use. In order to use solar power when the sun isn’t shining, at night, or when production is minimal, Solar Together’s panels can be placed with batteries.
It’s time to start considering using solar energy in your home now that you are more knowledgeable about the many sorts of solar energy.