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What is solar energy?

Solar energy , radiant light and heat from the sun , has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies.Solar energy technologies include solar heating , solar photovoltaics , solar thermal electricity and solar architecture , which can make considerable contributions to solving some of the most urgent problems the world now faces.Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy.Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air .

How it works?

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive or active depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute sunlight.
1.Active solar techniques
Active solar techniques use photovoltaic panels, pumps, and fans to convert sunlight into useful outputs. It increase the supply of energy and are considered supply side technologies.
2.Passive solar techniques
Passive solar techniques include selecting materials with favorable thermal properties, designing spaces that naturally circulate air, and referencing the position of a building to the Sun. It reduce the need for alternate resources and are generally considered demand side technologies.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • The production of the panels leads to some amount of pollution.
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    The Solar Cells and Solar Panels that are needed to harness solar energy tend to be very expensive when you first purchase them.
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    Solar power cannot be harnessed during a storm, on a cloudy day or at night.
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  • Affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies with huge longer-term benefits
  • Increase countries’ energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise.
  • The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.
Applications

Applications in our daily life

Solar radiation may be converted directly into electricity by solar cells By connecting large numbers of individual cells together, however, as in solar-panel arrays, hundreds or even thousands of kilowatts of electric power can be generated in a solar electric plant. Solar energy is also used on a small scale for purposes other than those described above. In some countries, for instance, specially designed solar ovens are employed for cooking, and solar energy is used to produce salt from seawater by evaporation.
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